The science is not “settled” on the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies

By   /   February 6, 2014  /   434 Comments

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Five years ago I would probably have rolled my eyes at seeing an article or blog on fluoridation and read no further. If you are rolling your eyes right now I understand but please give this one a go.

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Five years ago I would probably have rolled my eyes at seeing an article or blog on fluoridation and read no further. If you are rolling your eyes right now I understand but please give this one a go.

Five years ago I was a passive supporter of fluoridation of drinking water because I accepted the word of public health officials that fluoridation helped reduce dental decay and improve dental health for us all. I thought the biggest benefits would be for the children most susceptible to early tooth decay. These are the children in our low-income communities where there are higher sugar levels in the diet and less teeth-brushing than in middle class families.

Although I’d never studied the issue I have a background in science and I would have agreed with last year’s statement from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Peter Gluckman who said the science was “settled” in favour of fluoridating water supplies.

However since then, and more by accident than design, I’ve taken some time to look at the science for and against fluoridation and I’ve changed my position.

There is a mounting body of scientific evidence which makes a strongly arguable case not just that fluoridation is much less effective than we have been told but that it may also carry serious dangers to young children – in particular those who are bottle-fed with fluoridated water.

On Tuesday night this week I went to hear Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Paul Connett speak in Auckland about these issues as he argued against fluoridation of water supplies. (The meeting was organised by the Fluoride Action Network of New Zealand.)

I was fascinated to hear Connett speak in detail about the Napier/Hastings study (1954 to 1964) which launched fluoridation in New Zealand. The study was to be based on comparing the dental health of children in Napier (un-fluoridated water) with Hastings (fluoridated water).

Eight years into the study correspondence shows the researchers were unable to find the benefits they had expected/hoped to find from fluoridation. Then for reasons that are at best unclear the trial outcome was reported not as a comparison between the cities but as a longitudinal study of Hastings children which focused on how the number of tooth fillings kids were getting changed over the course of the study. The outcome showed a significant reduction in fillings over the 10 years and this was used to make the case for fluoridation to the general public. Later analysis however has shown dental nurse practice changed during the course of the trial and indentations in teeth which were being filled at the start of the study were no longer being filled by 1964. By then only when a cavity had penetrated the enamel were kids teeth being filled. The “benefits” of fluoridation were therefore largely overstated to a public who could not possibly know any better.

Anecdotally at least one person associated with the research has since made the comment that they were determined to reproduce the results found in some US studies which showed big benefits for fluoridation.

There have been far more studies of fluoridation around the world than I had realised and while the quality of research is very variable the most alarming has been a range of research projects showing an average drop of close to five IQ points for children from communities with fluoridated water compared to children with un-fluoridated water supplies.

I’m not suggesting this is a science end point but should be an urgent spur to higher quality studies to confirm/adjust/reject these findings. And following the precautionary principal fluoridation of water should be stopped in the meantime.

Another aspect to this is the evidence that fluoride has at best limited positive effect on the developing teeth of babies which had previously been thought was the case. And when we consider that human breast milk contains very small amounts of fluoride compared to fluoridated water it’s clear that bottle-fed babies are being unnecessarily exposed to potential negative effects from ingesting fluoride.

This is serious stuff. It is not the stuff of “flat-earthers” or climate-science deniers. It’s irresponsible to dismiss critical studies of fluoride and claim the science is “settled” in favour of fluoridation when a dispassionate look at the evidence raises lots of important and worrying questions.

The science is changing. For example there are now studies which show fluoride uptake by teeth is greater when it is applied to the tooth surface directly through fluoride toothpastes compared to mass medication via water. Doesn’t the science here warrant greater examination of alternatives to fluoridation of water supplies.

So why have public health officials overstated the success of fluoridation and poured scorn on the potential for serious problems? Dr Connett was asked this and said the only thing he could suggest was that these officials are worried that if they “lose” the fluoridation battle then issues such as vaccinations would come under much closer scrutiny with young children exposed to more serious risks if vaccinations levels decline.

Professor Connett described the late Dr John Colquhoun – formerly the Chief Dental Officer for Auckland – as one of New Zealand’s heroes. Colquhoun initially supported fluoridation only to move strongly against it after undertaking in-depth research as part of a PhD study in 1987 which examined the evidence in New Zealand and overseas and found it not just unconvincing as to the benefits of fluoridation but also worrying as to its possible longer-term health effects on communities.

Colquhoun spoke out against fluoridation when it was even less popular to do so than it is now.

But things are changing. It was good to hear from one dentist at the meeting who spoke publicly against fluoridation and also good to hear of the large number of others who oppose it in private.

Professor Connett’s answer to fighting tooth decay is education to change diets and programmes which get kids from low-income communities brushing their teeth. (I would add in here the provision of breakfast and lunch at schools and measures to reduce income inequality) Scotland, without fluoridation, has several apparently very successful initiatives to get kids brushing teeth from early childhood education  centres onwards.

I no longer think the science is “settled” and New Zealand should join the majority of the world – including 97% of Europe – which does not have fluoridated water supplies.

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434 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I resent the fact that some councillors who are not medical people get to decide what I put in my body. Surely fluoride tablets could be given out free for people mad enough to want to drink chemicals like that. Here’s an idea, parents stop your children drinking sugar rich fizzy drinks and teach them dental hygene.

    • There’s an obvious fly-in-the-ointment here… If families are running out of money paying for rent/mortgage, power, phone, transport, medicine/doctor’s bills, clothing, school fees, etc – by the time the budget get’s to buying groceries, there is precious little left.

      I would guess that if it’s a choice between buying food or toothpaste, the food will get higher priority every time. (As it should.)

      http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/a-blighted-future-the-price-of-an-apple/

      • David Hodges says:

        True, although some dentists have suggested that brushing with baking soda (which is a lot cheaper than toothpaste) may be almost as effective as brushing with toothpaste. So that could be an option for those who can’t afford toothpaste.
        But I agree with you and John that we should make an effort to end poverty, which would make that issue moot. Let’s increase the minimum wage and provide real jobs that reduce unemployment.

        • Baking soda will probably work with adults.

          But children? Hmmmm… good luck with that!

          But yes, it is a cheaper option. (Hopefully it doesn’t wear away the dentine?)

    • The author mentioned Scotland as a example of good teeth repair but he does not go into the costs involved to get that level, the govt is providing tooth brushes and tooth paste to children to achieve these targets, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/5196770.stm I cant see the N.Z govt spending that sort of money ,when fluoride in water is much cheaper. Dr John Colquhoun was also mentioned as valid evidence. It does not take much digging to find his research was flawed in many cases, For example the Auckland trials were taken within 2 suburbs that were supposedly fluoride free and fluoridated, the results were taken from school dental clinic data, with different dental nurses with different ideas on decay ,and he did not even ask the children involved where they lived. Some were in the fluoride free areas and went to school in the fluoridated areas. This was not taken into account. So really the data supplied by your dr Connett as valid evidence needs to be carefully vetted as it is not always as accurate as it is portrayed

      • http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/fluoridation/fluoridation-resources will give you the facts about fluoride,and not some activists scaremongering tactics that he spreads around the world as a self proclaimed expert. In the 17 years he says he has been doing this He has not had a peer reviewed paper published by any quality independent research publication on the subject he says he is an expert in

        • Peter Archer says:

          I see that two well-known fanatical self-appointed pro-fluoride “experts” are rushing to repair the damage and to rubbish what has been said here. They are using their usual tactics of carefully chosen nit-picking, and posting links to MOH webpages that are little more than statements of propagnada and spin, that are not backed up by proper credible evidence.

          No mention of the fraud that was committed in the misreporting of the results of the Napier-Hastings study. The pro-F sokespeople always avoid this sbject! and, not actul refutation of anything that Prof Connett says, just the usual deliberately confusing attacks and spin.

          • Daniel Ryan says:

            I see this page is posted all over the anti-fluoride groups, asking people to comment and rate our posts low.

            “that are not backed up by proper credible evidence”
            Have you ignored my post of the highest of papers (systematic reviews). Now where is your evidence?

            “No mention of the fraud that was committed in the misreporting of the results of the Napier-Hastings study”
            Ken already spoken about this in a below comment. Calling it fraud doesn’t make it so.

          • now who is the usual “nit pickers’ and I would suggest that the MOH is a lot better reference than an activist website for credible evidence

            • peter says:

              We paid $550.00 for a filter that takes out 98% of the fluoride Debz. We have had independent checks done and indeed it does. We are more than happy for you to keep on drinking, bathing and waterring your vegetables with fluoride Debz. Go for it! If MOH say it’s good for you who would ever dare to question their God like perfection in all things pertaining to our health!

        • David Green says:

          Debz,

          How many papers do you have published? How about Steve Slott? Johnny Johnson and Kurt? Have any of you published anything?

          Dr Connett is an author, among other things. An author tries to tell a story and back it with evidence. Perhaps you should try to refute some of the 80 pages of references found at the back of The Case Against Fluoride, instead of trying to shoot the messenger by calling him names. Most people now recognize that sort of arrogance as a form of compensation for a case you know is weak.

          • Ok Show me a peer reviewed paper that connett has published in a quality scientific publication on fluoride in the 17 years he says he has been studing this. the birds are twittering ,and the silence is deafening

            • Danyl Strype says:

              The point is not whether Connett has published papers himself, but whether his arguments are based on references to peer-reviewed papers, which they are. For example, the 2012 review and meta-analysis by Choi et al, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, which states:
              “…children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses also indicated inverse associations, although the substantial heterogeneity did not appear to decrease.”
              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/#!po=9.37500

              Clearly, as John says, the science is far from “settled” on the safety of fluoridation.

              • D'Esterre says:

                @ Danyl Stripe: I wonder if you’ve read the study to which you link. The paper states “…. most of the epidemiological information available on associations with children’s neurodevelopment is from China, where fluoride generally occurs in drinking water as a natural contaminant, and the concentration depends on local geological conditions.”

                The paper also states: “Opportunities for epidemiological studies depend on the existence of comparable population groups exposed to different levels of fluoride from drinking water. Such circumstances are difficult to find in many industrialized countries, because fluoride concentrations in community water are usually no higher than 1 mg/L, even when fluoride is added to water supplies as a public health measure to reduce tooth decay. Multiple epidemiological studies of developmental fluoride neurotoxicity were conducted in China because of the high fluoride concentrations that are substantially above 1 mg/L in well water in many rural communities….”

                So we’re talking here about fluoride levels well above that which applies here in New Zealand. We could, I think, be forgiven for concluding that the authors were in search of a problem that actually isn’t a problem in Western countries.

                This seems to me to be a bit disingenuous: fluoride is a trace element, one of many we need for optimum health. Many of those trace elements are toxic in large doses, but in trace amounts, they protect us from deficiency diseases of various sorts.

                Fluoride is ubiqitous in the environment, being one of the most common elements worldwide. New Zealand, however, is known to be deficient in a number of trace elements, of which fluoride is one. This doesn’t mean that there’s no fluoride in waterways here, just that levels are too low to bring about the improvements in the prevalence of tooth decay seen where fluoride occurs at higher levels in water supplies.

                Referring back to that study, I wonder that the authors didn’t go look at IQ statistics in Texas. Because of local geological conditions there, naturally-occurring fluoride levels are very high indeed. Do Texans have much lower IQs than other Americans? I’d be surprised….

                • Dan Germouse says:

                  The idea that the silicofluoride industrial waste, contaminated with other toxins such as heavy metals, which is dumped into water supplies is a nutrient is absurd. There have been several statements indicating that fluoride is not an essential nutrient in any form. No symptoms of fluoride “deficiency” have ever been identified. Breastmilk is extremely low in fluoride, thanks to a biological mechanism which keeps it out. The first words in the abstract of the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks 2011 report titled “Critical review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating agents of drinking water” are: “Fluoride is not an essential element for human growth and development”.

                  http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/environmental_risks/docs/scher_o_139.pdf

                  http://www.fluoridealert.org/studies/essential-nutrient/

                • peter says:

                  How can anyone even dare to suggest that this stuff should be ingested by humans! All those that do have got to have loose screws in their brains! It’s just unbelievable! And all this garbage about not enough natural levels of fluoride, that isn’t and never was an essential nutrient, (show me any any evidence and I mean any telling us what the consequences would be if we never had fluoride in our systems?) Yes I do get angry with those who insist we must poison everybody and why shouldn’t I? I DO NOT have any desire to poison anybody! Not even with infinitesimal amounts of any deadly toxin! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ7P1vkIpCk

                • Danyl Strype says:

                  D’estarre, thanks for your comments on the study I referenced. I’ll certainly take a closer look with your arguments in mind.

                  “fluoride is a trace element”

                  Wrong. Fluorine is an element. Fluorides are a broad family of compounds, each with their own properties. This points to one of the most important concerns I have around fluoridation science, the fact that so many studies, and the arguments of those who interpret them, treat “fluoride” as if it is one thing, with one set of properties.

                  As I said, the science on fluoride is far from settled.

                  • Richard Christie says:

                    Wrong. Fluorine is an element. Fluorides are a broad family of compounds, each with their own properties blah blah.

                    What’s wrong with you Danyl? You had this mistake spelled out to you days ago. Do you just ignore what people write?

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoride

                    The subject is the ion, F(-)
                    It’s the ion that is active in the fluoridated water supply. Not the compounds of fluorine. .

                    Fluoride is the fluorine atom with a captured electron.

                    The symbol is still F but with a negative sign to indicate that it is now a negatively charged ion (ion – an element or molecule in a state where it possesses an electrical charge).

                    Fluorosilicic acid is a compound used to deliver the ion to the water supply.

                    Once added to water it decomposes and vanishes leaving the F ion and harmless silicon and water, maybe some hydrogen.

                    You can’t redefine chemistry or the argument to suit your limited understanding of the chemistry.

                    Or, do you know more about the chemistry than the CDC and thousands of research chemists that have contributed to the scientific literature?

            • David Green says:

              Did you even read my post? 80 pages of references.

              Why does he need to publish research? There are already enough to make his case.

              • Daniel Ryan says:

                Dr Campbell actually looked at his ’80 pages of references’:
                https://www.facebook.com/fluoridewater/posts/605624659475882

                A good quote from the comments summoning it up:
                “Don’t build castles on rotten foundations”

              • Ken Perrott says:

                Having just read Paul’s book I found his 80 pages of references very frustrating. A large number of repeats. But continually referencing his own website – Fluoride Alert! And in most cases these links just did not work.

                Particularly frustrating when he was referencing a foreign language, obscure, newsletter or journal unavailable to us mere mortals to then find the link broken.

                Started to wonder if this was intentional.

            • peter says:

              Otago University are in the middle of a big project called the Dunedin Multi disciplinary & Development Study and are coming out strongly in support of fluoridation and guess who one of their contributors are? Yes none other that Colgate Palmolive. No doubt as long as the study goes in the right direction there will be more than adequate funding for this program!

              • Richard Christie says:

                Spooky.

                This will be your chance to write an expose and collect a Pulitzer prize.

                Remember, you’ll need special lens filters get good printable photographs of the lizardmen.

                • ANDYS says:

                  Corruption in science is pretty prevalent, so I don’t really see why you need a conspiracy

                  • Richard Christie says:

                    As I see it:

                    Conspiracy to corrupt is corruption.

                    Corruption doesn’t require conspiracy.

                    OK, so what?

                    What’s your point please?

                    Anyway, is Colgate Palmolive conspiring to corrupt or do they corrupt by magic?

                    For the answer we’ll have to wait for Peter’s explosive expose.

        • Gordon says:

          I got a bag of this wonderful fluoride especially for you let me when you would like delivery

          Silico Fluorides or Sodium Fluorides are 85 times more toxic than Calcium Fluoride

          Arsenic Cadmium Lead Uranium Aluminum

          You have to ask yourself , would you like these ingredients in your food items from the supermarkets and shops. Yet you allow these health giving ingredients in your drinking water under the guise of “IT’S GOOD FOR OUR CHILDREN’S TEETH”

          http://www.vitaminarcade.com/dangers-to-your-health-part-one/fluoride-menace.html

        • Lisa E says:

          Dr Paul Connett is not just an expert on fluoride but is also an expert on Zero Waste. He has given presentations on Zero Waste for Sustainability to the UN Commission for Sustainable Development. So I don’t think he is just some self proclaimed expert – he is an expert who is challenging a faulty procedure that if exposed in the US could result in massive law suits. Hence the perceived need to keep this practice in place.

          • Chris says:

            Just as an observation, Lisa, Connet’s expertise on Zero Waste for Sustainability really has no bearing on whether or not he has any expertise in regards to fluoride. These are very separate topics, and expertise in one field does not confer expertise in another.

            Presumably, if we were to look, I could find a publication record and other evidence to justify a claim for Connet’s expertise in regards to Zero Waste. However, to my knowledge, nobody has yet produced any evidence to justify a claim of expert status for him in regards to fluoride.

            He did write that book, and certainly campaigns on the issue, but that really does seem to be about it. No primary research, no peer-reviewed publications, and seemingly no interest in producing either, despite having apparently been campaigning for a good 17 years.

          • Richard Christie says:

            Would you have your cancer treated by a podiatrist?

            Expertise in one area doesn’t confer expertise in another. Toxicology is not the same as zero waste management.

            he is an expert who is challenging a faulty procedure that if exposed in the US could result in massive law suits. Hence the perceived need to keep this practice in place.

            Behold, the conspiracy theory.

            At least LisaE doesn’t waste time in getting right down to it.

            • Lissa says:

              “Would you have your cancer treated by a podiatrist? Expertise in one area doesn’t confer expertise in another. Toxicology is not the same as zero waste management.”

              Exactly Richard, we wouldnt go to a dentist for liver disease treatment and we shouldnt be going to government officials with zero dental and medical background to be treating our teeth.. If I need a fluoride treatment I will see my dentist

              • Richard Christie says:

                all the non-fluoridated countries done that has caused their dental decay rates to decline at a faster rate than those countries that do fluoridate

                If you are going to base an argument or question on a contentious premise, please provide support for the premise.

                Otherwise it’s just bs.

                  • Lissa says:

                    example from the WHO data – USA DMFT Index went from 4 in 1965/66 to 1.3 in 1994/5 (30 years) where as Iceland went from a 8.4 on the DMFT Index in 1980/81 to a 1.4 in 1995/96 (15 years) A higher decline over a shorter period..that would be faster. I could continue with several more examples but why bother you have access to the same information. Icelands rates dropped quicker over a shorter period of time which is the same for nearly all the non-fluoridated countries.

                    Currently in Australia according to the Child Dental Health Survey Australia 2007 – 30 yr trends in child oral health, tooth decay is actually on the rise in Australian children, not declining.

                    And Tooth Decay rates in Brisbane’s children declined at the same rate as all the other australian capital cities over a ten year period between 1977 and 1987 despite having NO FLUORIDATION according to the School Dental Service Data 1990

                    so non fluoridated countries and cities are having the same or better decline rates than those with fluoride… case closed.

                    • Richard Christie says:

                      Lissa, do you understand basic calculus?

                      You have demonstrated that you are simple enough to use an inappropriate mathematical model for an issue with 1) multiple variables and 2) than can be modelled using simple linear relationship.

                      Let’s examine 2)

                      Firstly, the Brisbane result does not support the Iceland result in the manner you simplistically claim. The result you cite simply suggests other factors at play in regard to dental health in one or both of the populations, i.e.scenario (1) above.

                      So, let’s deal with Iceland and your understanding of “rate” (btw calculus is the mathematical discipline that deals with “rate of change”)

                      Have you first determined that fall in decay rates in both the fluoridated (USA) and unfluoridated (Iceland) populations fell in a constantly linear fashion?

                      You know – not first or second order.

                      Of course you have.

                      Obviously, you expect the rates of reduction in each population to stay linearly constant and to be independent of levels and incidence of decay of each population at the start of the comparison period and all time afterwards. (well, you must do, because otherwise your argument is rubbish) –

                      Think

                      A linear rate of reduction in decay, given enough time will result in a state of zero incidence of tooth decay, no?

                      Does that sound correct?

                      If its not linear, what is it Lissa?

                      Think hard about it, and get back to us.

                • Lissa says:

                  I also note you didnt actually address the point in my post, that politicians are not qualified to make a decision on my dental health.

                  • Richard Christie says:

                    Because The Stupid runs deep in your point.

                    Politicians, in consultation with the scientific, medical and even engineering fraternities (amongst others), have been making decisions regarding you and your family’s health for over a century.

        • lynda says:

          Where were the peer reviews of the officials and “experts” when fluoride was introduced into the public water supplies years ago. He may not have published peer reviews but his scientific expertise is in line with thousands who have had “peer reviews”

          • Chris says:

            Just as a point of interest, Lynda, exactly how do you assess a person’s expertise on a topic, if you do not consider their academic publication record to be relevant?

        • Peter van der Stam says:

          Hello Debz,
          Lets say that fluoride in drinking water IS really a medicine.
          Then I would like to ask you: would you be happy with the Indian government to put the anticonseption pill in drinking water to slow the birth rate down?
          I doubt it.
          Would you be happy with our government putting Panadol in our drinking water to make sure that less people stay home with a sicky because they have a head ache.
          Well! I can assure you that Holland and many other countries in Europe are against any “medicine” in drinking water. So am I
          Lucky me I live in Napier. Un-fluoridated.

      • Ken says:

        Paul Connett also ignores an important fact when talking about the Scottish programme. The programme actually includes several treatments per year of young childrens teeth with fluoride varnish. This acts as a slow release form of fluoride.

        So it is rather disingenuous to present this programme as an alternative to fluoride when it includes fluoride treatment.

        • Danyl Strype says:

          Ken, you are misrepresenting John’s position. He didn’t say the Scottish model was an alternative to fluoride, he said it is wan alternative to *fluoridation of drinking water*.

          • Ken says:

            In our exchange he does present it as an alternative and persistently omits the fact that the Scottish programme includes fluoride treatment as an essential component. He does the same when he claims that the lack of increase in tooth decay when fluoridation ceased in a Cuban City and the former DDR shows fluoride is not effective yet ignores the ongoing use of fluoride rinses, fluoridated salt and milk and fluoride treatments. He actually conceded on these points and then diverted by saying this shows alternatives are available.

            He’s seems oblivious to the fact that destroys his whole argument against fluoride.

            Don’t forget that supporters of fluoride do not deny there are more ways than drinking water fluoridation to overcome problems of fluoride deficiency.

            • David Green says:

              Ken, the study in Courtenay /Comox in BC Canada had a similar result (less decay) when fluoridation was ended. There is also the city in Finland that showed no change. I know that there is no salt fluoridation in Canada and to say that the topical application of fluoride was an essential component of the Scottish program assumes that similar results would not have been obtained without it. The only way to know that would be to have a control group that didn’t get the topical applications. Was there such a group in Scotland?

              Incidentally, British Columbia has one of the the lowest per centages of people drinking fluoridated water of any province in Canada but no more decay than Ontario which has the most. Quebec is also very low and their decay rates are only slightly higher than Ontario, despite having about 5000k/year less average family income.

              • Drinking water fluoridation and oral health inequities in Canadian children.
                McLaren L, Emery JC.
                Source

                Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. lmclaren@ucalgary.ca
                Abstract
                OBJECTIVES:

                One argument made in favour of drinking water fluoridation is that it is equitable in its impact on oral health. We examined the association between exposure to fluoridation and oral health inequities among Canadian children.PARTICIPANTS, SETTING AND INTERVENTION: We analyzed data from 1,017 children aged 6-11 from Cycle 1 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey that included a clinic oral health examination and a household interview. The outcome measure was a count of the number of decayed, missing (because of caries or periodontal disease) or filled teeth, either deciduous or permanent (dmftDMFT). Data were analyzed using linear (ordinary least squares) and multinomial logistic regression; we also computed the concentration index for education-related inequity in oral health. Water fluoridation status (the intervention) was assigned on the basis of the site location of data collection.
                OUTCOMES:

                Fluoridation was associated with better oral health (fewer dmftDMFT), adjusting for socio-economic and behavioural variables, and the effect was particularly strong for more severe oral health problems (three or more dmftDMFT). The effect of fluoridation on dmftDMFT was observed across income and education categories but appeared especially pronounced in lower education and higher income adequacy households. dmftDMFT were found to be disproportionately concentrated in lower-education households, though this did not vary by fluoridation status.
                CONCLUSIONS:

                The robust main effect of fluoridation on dmftDMFT and the beneficial effect across socio-economic groups support fluoridation as a beneficial and justifiable population health intervention. Fluoridation was equitable in the sense that its benefits were particularly apparent in those groups with the poorest oral health profiles, though the nature of the findings prompts consideration of the values underlying the judgement of health equity.

                • Peter says:

                  Canadian people have woken up to the myths and deception around fluoridation and are well on the way to throwing it out altogether and they will!

                  • “Canadian people have woken up to the myths and deception around climate change and are well on the way to throwing it out altogether and they will!”

                    “Canadian people have woken up to the myths and deception around vaccines and are well on the way to throwing it out altogether and they will!” etc,etc,etc.

                • peter says:

                  McLaren & Emery’s paper does not seem to have convinced many Canadians and I would safely assume many other Canadian scientists including many outside Canada that their paper has not told the true story. Hence the fact that Canada is ceasing fluoridation of it’s towns and cities all over Canada! As for the old bogey of poorer communities that drink up large quantities of cheap sugary drinks, bread and chips, eat little or no fruit or vegetables trying to treat a symptom caused by terrible nutrition is a total waste of time. Only treating the cause can alleviate bad teeth in poor communities!

              • Ken says:

                David – could you please supply citations (and links if possible) to the BC and Finnish studies you mention?

                l always love to chack.

                My point about the fluoride varnish component of the Scottish programme was just to illustrate the importance of checking details. It is silly to claim, as does Connett, that these sort of programmes show fluoride is ineffective.

                Quite the oppsite.

                Of course there is no control group (intentionally) in the Scottish porgramme – it is not an experiment. They are just applying their best knoweldge to the problem and this inlcudes the proven beneficial role of fluoride.

                • David Green says:

                  Ken,

                  The two studies are ” Patterns of dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation.”(Maupome)

                  and “Caries trends(1992-1998) in two low fluoride Finnish towns…” (Seppa).

                  They are both on Pubmed.

                  • Ken Perrott says:

                    Thanks David.

                    I will hunt them down and have a read.

                  • Daniel Ryan says:

                    The studies often used to support the claims are small scale studies conducted in foreign countries where alternative programs were implemented. However, these studies did not study the cost effectiveness. No other intervention is as cost effective as water fluoridation. The fact that fluoride works to prevent tooth decay has been shown in laboratory and human studies. When one examines the most cost effective and efficient way to deliver fluoride to bring about population impact, it becomes clear that water fluoridation is the choice.

                    • Lissa says:

                      “No other intervention is as cost effective as water fluoridation”

                      Do you have evidence of that claim… where are the costs comparisons that you draw the data to make your claim on Daniel?

                      I would challenge you that WHO data shows non fluoridating countries actually have faster tooth decline rates than fluoridated ones and the fact that fluoridation increases the incidence of dental fluorosis and that moderate fluorosis actually contributes to more tooth decay, it would show anecdotally that fluoridation actually increases tooth decay..And yes, the australian stats show this to be the case. (and yes I have provided this in other comments for you to read)

                  • Ken Perrott says:

                    Now – it is worth quoting from these two papers, David.

                    The first one:

                    “Multiple sources of fluoride besides water fluoridation have made it more difficult to detect changes in the epidemiological profile of a population with generally low caries experience, and living in an affluent setting with widely accessible dental services.”

                    The second one:

                    “The fact that no increase in caries was found in Kuopio despite discontinuation of water fluoridation and decrease in preventive procedures suggests that not all of these measures were necessary for each child.”

                    This underlines my point about the need to approach the literature intelligently and critically. It is too easy to cherry pick and misrepresent.

                • Lissa says:

                  There is not one control group in the world to show fluoridation alone prevents tooth decay either Ken, so whats your point?

        • David Green says:

          I have never heard the term “slow release form of fluoride”. What are you suggesting is the benefit in recently fluoridated teeth giving off fluoride back into the mouth? I only see a negative if that occurs. Instead of being on the teeth where it has some effect, it would be leaving the teeth and being swallowed or absorbed through the lining of the mouth.

      • David Hodges says:

        I went to Dr. Connett’s talk also and contrary to Debz’s claim he did not cite any trials from Auckland as evidence of fluoride’s effectiveness.
        He merely congratulated Dr. Colqohoun on his principled stand for being willing to admit that he was wrong after more than a decade of promoting fluoridation and taking a brave stand against the government to try and correct the damage that he had caused.
        The main evidence of fluoride’s poor effectiveness that Dr. Connett cited was the 1986-87 National Institute of Dental Research study of 40,000 children – the largest ever conducted in the USA. When looking at the number of tooth surfaces with some decay, the study found an average of about one less tooth surface affected per two children in fluoridated areas, out of a total of 128 surfaces per child. Furthermore the study failed to report whether this tiny difference was statistically significant, or whether it could have occurred by chance.

        • would you tell everyone about all the mistakes you make in the public eye, Think about it

          The examined children were treated by different school dental nurses, who were untrained in epidemiological survey methods, not standardized in their interpretation of diagnostic criteria, and not calibrated to an expert examiner in their examining techniques. The examiners were likely to have had their own criteria for what constituted a cavity and what teeth required restorative care. Worse still, Colquhoun made no effort to ensure that the children actually resided in either the fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities, but analyzed the data simply on the basis of the district in which the school was located, not where the child lived. Subsequently, it was shown “that 38 percent of the 12-13 year-old children who attended school in Onehunga, the low social class area described by Colquhoun [2], actually lived in high social rank areas in Auckland, districts that received fluoridated drinking water. This confounding of residence and fluoride histories produced serious misclassifications and severely compromised Colquhoun’s data, and hence his conclusions” [13].

          • peter says:

            I would suggest Debz that as an American it would be a good idea for you to try and sort out some of the health problems you are having in the US rather than pointing the finger at our efforts and leave us to sort out our own problems that after all were given to us by your country. You are down near the bottom of the OECD countries at 29th out of 30, Life expectancy is decreasing, more psychotropic drugs per capita than any other country in the World, more hypoglycemia per capita than any other country in the World, way more vaccinations per capita than anyone else in the World and yes to cap it all off more people drinking and bathing in fluoride per capita than anyone else on the planet!

            • I would suggest Debz that as an American it would be a good idea for you to try and sort out some of the health problems you are having in the US rather than….

              Tu Quoque

      • peter says:

        There is not one! I say again not one of you pro fluoridationists would even dream of taking on Paul Connett in a debate but never fear it’s not just you it is also every pro fluoridation scientist and health care worker in New Zealand that would not be prepared to take him. Why? It’s so damned obvious that he would win! The health authorities are now stooping as low as they can go saying that the argument for fluoridation is settled. What a cowardly farce! I dare any of you to read Christopher Bryson’s book ‘The Fluoride Deception’ I know you wont because I purchased the book for several people that I ignorantly believed would read them to increase their knowledge on fluoridation. They didn’t of course because it would have spoiled their ignorant fun putting down those us of who were prepared to learn and become enlightened! And here’s a nice little bit of history as well: http://www.primitivism.com/fluoride.htm

        • Ken Perrott says:

          Peter, not true. I have just completed a two month exchange with Paul – The Fluoride Debate.. http://openparachute.wordpress.com/fluoride-debate/

          If was enjoyable and, I think, informative. You can download a PDF file of the debate here http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/download-the-fluoride-debate/

          I have also read Bryson’s book – no problem.

          Really, you should listen to what people say and stop imagining things.

        • “There is not one! I say again not one of you pro evolutionists would even dream of taking on Ray Comfort in a debate but never fear it’s not just you it is also every pro evolution scientist and doctor in New Zealand that would not be prepared to take him. Why? It’s so damned obvious that he would win! The science authorities are now stooping as low as they can go saying that the argument for evolution is settled. What a cowardly farce! I dare any of you to read Ray Comfort’s website ‘The Way Of the Master’ I know you wont because I sent the link to several people that I ignorantly believed would read them to increase their knowledge on evolution. They didn’t of course because it would have spoiled their ignorant fun putting down those us of who were prepared to learn and become enlightened!”

          Why Richard Dawkins Doesn’t Debate Creationists

        • Daniel Ryan says:

          On top of what Ken said, we tried to get another debate with Connett, but it was FANNZ that refused after messing around us.

          • Kane says:

            Dan – that is a lie. If you think Andrew’s pathetic attempt at a debate topic was FANNZ messing you around then think again.

            A few questions. Why don’t you try and ask Dr Robin Whyman if he will come forward and answer some simple questions?

            Why didn’t you ask a question of Professor Connett at the presentation?

        • Rosalind says:

          That might be because Connett is in the habit of hurling abuse such as ‘You just want to poison children’ as he shouted at one Health Dept employee of my acquaintance. Also, Connett has little credibility since his professorship was at an extremely obscure community college and he is a chemist with no qualifications, knowledge or competence in toxicology. I was asked to debate him but as a double Board-certified toxicologist, I just can’t be bothered debating people who don’t have the necessary background knowledge to understand my discipline.

          • peter says:

            The people are waking up Rosalind. I read everything I could find on fluoride and fluoridation starting around 7 years ago and I mean everything. The most startling words that were common in so many pro fluoride documents were ‘It’s Safe And Affective’ and ‘The CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century’, even dare I say it in some scientific papers. Seeing these words over and over and over ad nauseum clearly showed that the science of the pro fluoride people was a nonsense. Anyone with any common sense is going to smell something fishy seeing this propaganda constantly repeated! Fluoridation will cease in New Zealand and the pro fluoridation lobby will suddenly vanish off the radar as they did in all of the EU countries that ceased fluoridation!

            • “The people are waking up Rosalind. I read everything I could find on global warming starting around 7 years ago and I mean everything. The most startling words that were common in so many pro Warmist documents were ‘According to the IPCC’ and ‘NASA has been a pioneer of climate change research since the beginning’, even dare I say it in some scientific papers. Seeing these words over and over and over ad nauseum clearly showed that science of the pro Warmist people was a nonsense. Anyone with any common sense is going to smell something fishy seeing this propaganda constantly repeated on the NASA website! The global warming hoax will cease in New Zealand and the pro global warming lobby will suddenly vanish off the radar!”

              • ANDYS says:

                Here is a suggestion Cedric. Why don’t you stop this robotic style of commenting and actually look at the science?

                You might be surprised

              • Danyl Strype says:

                Cedric, your reduction-ad-absurdum fallacies contribute nothing to this debate. Kindly knock it off.

                • It’s reductio ad absurdum (or alternatively argumentum ad absurdum) not reduction-ad-absurdum.

                  Did it ever occur to you to actually google what it meant?
                  You should.

                  Do it now.
                  I’ll wait.

                  (…waits patiently…)

                  See?
                  Good.

                  I’m not seeking to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial.

                  I’m showing that science deniers with different stripes make the same arguments.

                  Big difference.
                  Huge, really.

                  Climate deniers say the same things as you guys.
                  Which happens to be the same things and the anti-vaxxers.
                  Which happens to be the same things as the creationists etc.

                  Science denial follows certain predictable patterns.
                  Reality is not your friend.
                  If you have to use the same tired, shopworn tropes as those other groups that you rightfully regards as being nutjobs then… you are doing something very badly wrong.

          • David Green says:

            Rosalind,

            No knowledge or competence in toxicology? Most of the people vigorously promoting fluoride couldn’t even tell you the difference between the level in water, the dose, or the dosage.

            They won’t tell me what the safe dosage is for infants.
            The Canadian Dental Association says that the upper limit to prevent moderate fluorosis falls between .05 and .07 Mg/Kg bodyweight/day. What do you say it is?

            With regards to your last line, why are you here? To educate people or to get educated yourself? If you are here to educate people why would you pass up the opportunity to educate Dr. Connett and any listeners that might attend a debate?

            • Richard Christie says:

              I’m wondering how anything in that rant bears on Rosalind’s statement that Connett has no qualifications or competence in the discipline of toxicology.

              Bad girl Rosalind! How dare you, as a professional in this relevant discipline, state your viewpoint!

            • No knowledge or competence in toxicology? Most of the people vigorously promoting fluoride couldn’t –

              Tu Quoque.

              • What kind of an idiot would vote down pointing out a Tu Quoque argument?

                Either something is a Tu Quoque or it’s not. That’s something that’s easily verifiable.
                What is wrong with you people?

      • Lissa says:

        Do you have the statistics of the costs of fluoridation vs the cost of education and giving out tooth brushes? I find it difficult to believe that providing primary school children with a module of education every term on good tooth hygine and giving a free tooth brush and toothpaste each year would cost more than the millions each year each council spends on fluoridation. Add that the only demographic water fluoridation helps is children under 12. Once the teeth are formed, topical application of fluoride is the only form of fluoridation that works on tooth decay.

        • Richard Christie says:

          Do you have …. I find it difficult to believe…. the millions each year each council (= complete fabrication) spends on fluoridation… ??? (emphasis added)

          Please come better equipped before attempting to erect your strawman.

          Once the teeth are formed, topical application of fluoride is the only form of fluoridation that works on tooth decay.

          That’s where the science says water fluoridation helps.

          • Lissa says:

            Oh so when you drink a glass of water you swish it around your mouth first to make sure it hits all 250 surfaces for 30 seconds or more do you?… That is most ridiculous statement Ive heard to date..

            And I have the fluoridation costs from our council as well as other councils from queensland. Our state in total spends a few million on fluoridation.. so yeah.. its millions..

            • …the millions each year each council spends on fluoridation.

              But later…

              …I have the fluoridation costs from our council as well as other councils from queensland. Our state in total spends a few million on fluoridation..

              So you’ve gone from council…to state.
              Does the phrase “shifting the goalposts” mean anything to you?

              …so yeah.. its millions..

              For the state.
              Not “each council”
              Your entire state.

              So do you have the actual number of “millions” or are the rest of us just going to have to guess?
              Let’s remember your claim shall we?
              (It hasn’t magically disappeared or anything.)

              Do you have the statistics of the costs of fluoridation vs the cost of education and giving out tooth brushes?

              So now you do, right?
              Share.

              I find it difficult to believe that providing primary school children with a module of education every term on good tooth hygine and giving a free tooth brush and toothpaste each year would cost more than the millions each year each…(wait for it, wait for it) the entire “state” spends on fluoridation.

              Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s have those numbers. Just how much would it cost for a module of education covering your state plus free toothbrushes and toothpaste for all the school children in your state?
              Counting is a wonderful thing.

            • Richard Christie says:

              And I have the fluoridation costs from our council as well as other councils from queensland. Our state in total spends a few million on fluoridation.. so yeah.. its millions.

              Maths and English communication not your thing Lissa?

              Post the costs. Please share. Let’s read the figure for each council, or even a couple of councils.

              Oh so when you drink a glass of water you swish it around your mouth first to make sure it hits all 250 surfaces for 30 seconds or more do you?… That is most ridiculous statement Ive heard to date..

              Well, don’t make such comments if you consider them ridiculous. I think what you just wrote is a ridiculous strawman argument too, it indicates that you have made zero effort to research the issue.

              As well as the water’s direct contact with the teeth, fluoride is taken up in the saliva.

              • Lissa says:

                Well anyone reading my comment could plainly see I was not speaking of one single council, any 6th grader would have the ability to comprehend that. Instead of dealing with the issue which is the cost, you attack the way I speak/type which is typical of the pro-fluoridation mob. Just try for once in your lives to stick to the issue raised, which was cost… So here ya go.. you want the exact amount I was refering to… fine..

                Seqwater Combined Operational & maintenance costs for fluoridation plants (just south east qld not the entire state)
                F.Y 10/11 $909,687.

                Any more smart ass comments?

                • Richard Christie says:

                  (facepalm)

                • Well anyone reading my comment could plainly see I was not speaking of one single council, any 6th grader would have the ability to comprehend that.

                  Lissa, this is the internet.
                  Your original comment has not disappeared. It’s still there. It’s possible to just scroll up and read it again.

                  Let me help you with that.

                  …the millions each year each council spends on fluoridation.

                  See?

                  Instead of dealing with the issue which is the cost.

                  Then deal with it. What’s the hold up? Find out the numbers and crunch them.

                  just south east qld not the entire state) F.Y 10/11 $909,687.

                  So….how much are we talking about in total? Why are you stopping short at less than a million? Or is that the lion’s share of the overall state cost?
                  Hmm.

        • Do you have the statistics of the costs of fluoridation vs the cost of education and giving out tooth brushes?

          Do you have access to the internet?
          Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, health authorities have come up with that very question themselves?
          Hmm.

          I find it difficult to believe that providing….

          Extraordinary. Just how much is your personal, uninformed belief worth? Do you always do your thinking this way?
          Argument from Incredulity.

          ….each year would cost more than the millions each year each council spends on fluoridation

          Millions?
          If you are just going to guess then why not go for gold?
          How about billions?
          Or kazzilions?

          We here on planet Earth have this thing called…counting. You can count things. That way you can tell if something is more, the same, or less than something else. It’s really handy. Instead of plucking vague guesses out of your imagination, use counting.
          Hope that helps.
          Kthxbai.

          • Lissa says:

            Well since i didnt make the claim that it was more cost effective, I dont think I need to provide the evidence.. that would be required of the person making the claim.

            The claim was that it is the most cost effective way to treat tooth decay.. I would like some data to back that claim up… thanks.

            • Well since i didnt make the claim that it was more cost effective, I dont think I need to provide the evidence..

              Lissa, your original comment has not magically disappeared. It’s really not a good idea to abandon your own word like a forlorn waif at the doorstep.

              Do you have the statistics of the costs of fluoridation vs the cost of education and giving out tooth brushes? I find it difficult to believe that providing primary school children with a module of education every term on good tooth hygine and giving a free tooth brush and toothpaste each year would cost more than the millions each year each council spends…

              You stepped in it yourself.
              Now you get to walk around smelling like it.

              All the weaseling in the world will not help you.
              It only makes you look bad if you can’t discuss what you yourself wrote with integrity and honesty.

          • Lissa says:

            And my opinion is worth about as much as yours ..

            • It’s your opinion, you simpleton. You brought it up yourself. Nobody pointed a gun to your head.

              I find it difficult to believe…

              Well, what do the numbers tell you now that you’ve done some digging?
              Let’s have them.

              (…awkward silence…)

    • Bevan Morgan says:

      ‘Here’s an idea, parents stop your children drinking sugar rich fizzy drinks and teach them dental hygiene’.

      With all due respect, this is quite naive. You are assuming that parents can monitor their children at all times, and that they can devote the hours necessary to counteract the incredibly, incredibly powerful advertising and marketing that goes into aiming these products at kids.

      Ignoring the fact that they are addictive, the simple fact is parents can not compete with corporations in an environment as deregulated in regards to advertising as ours. We have an abundance of sugary drinks, some loaded with caffeine to the point where there is an entire aisle of them at my local countdown (I am 29 and when I was a kid there was Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, Fanta, 7-Up, and that was it pretty much).

      They target children at an early age in every sector of our society. And in addition to the quantity of marketing and advertising, there has been an incredible increase in the quality and sophistication of these techniques. Corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars in market research and psychological profiling of customers, particularly children. To expect parents working full time, and trying to do everything else to not only monitor every single thing goes into their body, but to monitor their every move, and counteract every single piece of media information, is literally impossible.

      The deck is stacked one way and it’s as simple as that. Parents need to take responsibility of course, but to pretend that the battle is equal or even one that is possible to win for most parents, just is ignoring the facts, and the efficacy of regulation which is desperately needed.

      Thanks, Bev.

  2. Ken says:

    John, I think you have to rely on more than a “background in science” in evaluation of the fluoride issue. It is an extremely complex field, there is a lot of misinformation being promoted by people like Paul Connett and the Fluoride Action Network of NZ. A truly scientific approach requires a critical and intelligent attitude towards this information and the complex research findings.

    I find quite a few mistaken ideas in your post but will just deal with the Hastings Project which Connett is telling atrocious porkies about at the moment. Your claim “Eight years into the study correspondence shows the researchers were unable to find the benefits they had expected/hoped to find from fluoridation” is completely mistaken. Scientific summaries were published by Ludwig and others in the NZ Dental Journal from 1958 – 1971. Most of these papers included conclusions of the sort:

    ““The results obtained in Hastings during a period of 75-78 month’s fluoridation are very similar to results obtained overseas after a comparable period of fluoridation.” (Ludwig 1962).”
    There was clear evidence of neficial effects of fluoride which continued well after the initial chas of dental diagnosis and treatment that Connett wishes to describe as scientific fraud.

    The reasons for abandoning Napier as a control city were clearly stated at the time – several papers were published on the special situation of Napier. It is incorrect to claim that the reason were “at best unclear.”

    John, I suggest you take a more balanced approach and consider all the evidence, not the cherry picked misinformation supplied by a politically and ideologically motivated activist group.

    Maybe I am pushing my own barrow but you could have a look at the on-line debate I had with Paul Connett over the last few months (see http://openparachute.wordpress.com/fluoride-debate/). This is an exchange of articles including Paul’s claims and my repudiation of them. I would be interested in discussing this with your further in good faith if you are interested.

    (By the way, the existence of this on-line debate, and the refusal to debate Andrew Sparrow sort of exposes the claims by Connett and FANZZ that everyone is too scared to debate him as disingenuous).

    • Danyl Strype says:

      Ken, I suggest you take a more balanced approach and consider all the evidence, not the cherry picked misinformation supplied by a politically and ideologically motivated pro-fluoride lobby. Of course, since you’re an outspoken member of that lobby, I’m not holding my breath.

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        Danyl I suggest you read the systematic reviews. A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select and synthesize all high quality research evidence relevant to that question. So without the bias that FAN ‘researchers’ have.

        Here is 4 systematic reviews, which shows the efficacy and safety of water fluoridation:

        Griffin, S. O., Regnier, E., Griffin, P. M., & Huntley, V. (2007). Effectiveness of fluoride in preventing caries in adults. Journal of Dental Research, 86(5), 410-415.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17452559

        Yeung, C. A. (2008). A systematic review of the efficacy and safety of fluoridation. Evidence-based dentistry, 9(2), 39-43. http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/eh41

        Parnell, C., Whelton, H., & O’Mullane, D. (2009). Water fluoridation. European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry, 10(3), 141-148.
        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03262675

        Rugg-Gunn, A. J., & Do, L. (2012). Effectiveness of water fluoridation in caries prevention. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 40(s2), 55-64. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998306

        • David Green says:

          You might want to look at “Benefits and Risks of Water Fluoridation”(1999) Locker, for information about fluoridation’s lack of effectiveness and what happens when fluoridation is discontinued.
          Strangely, after telling the Canadian and Ontario governments that there was no real benefit to the programs they endorse, Dr Locker, despite being highly qualified, didn’t seem to get any more work in the area and never sat on a Health Canada “expert panel”. Neither did Hardy Limeback, yet Dr Limeback was considered expert enough to sit on the NRC panel that reported in 2006. I could go on about how our goverments continue to mislead us and act deceptively in this area. Seeing dishonest behavior repeatedly was the thing that first caused me to doubt the case for fluoridation.

          • Daniel Ryan says:

            “You might want to look at “Benefits and Risks of Water Fluoridation”(1999)”

            It quotes:
            “While the evidence suggests that water fluoridation continues to be beneficial in terms of
            reducing the prevalence of dental decay, the magnitude of the difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities is small in absolute terms, particularly in communities where the prevalence of dental caries is low.”

            But this is quite an old study now. 15 years old, I have only used the best and recent reviews.

            I suggest you have a look at ‘Review of Scientific Reviews Relating to Water Fluoridation’:
            http://www.rph.org.nz/content/642a6894-7879-46f0-902c-8b0c36d8137a.cmr

            This is a review of reviews which is a nice way of summing up all the evidence around this whole subject. But anti-fluoridion groups seems to ignore this one. Mainly because they believe in a conspiracy theory that NFIS is lying.

            • Dan Germouse says:

              Nothing you say can change the fact that you are relying on poor quality original research to make your case.

            • David Green says:

              Daniel

              Thanks for that reference. It will take me some time to read through it.

              Canada lowered the recommended level of fluoride from between 1 and 1.5 ppm to the current .5 to.8 ppm in around 1996. So Locker’s conclusions, which include some even more definitive that what you quoted, carry even more weight than reviews that only cover research from after the recommmended level was dropped.

              Can you tell me what no one else can or will? What is the safe dosage in Mg/Kg/day for infants?

              • Daniel Ryan says:

                “Can you tell me what no one else can or will? What is the safe dosage in Mg/Kg/day for infants?”

                You can have a look at this from the Institute of Medicine:
                http://www.iom.edu/activities/nutrition/summarydris/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/New%20Material/6_%20Elements%20Summary.pdf

                • David Green says:

                  That info doesn’t supply the dosage but it does show the dose which is a good start.
                  So a 6 month old can safely ingest 200 to 220 mcg fluoride per day. Water is fluoridated to about 700 mcg/litre. Would a 6 month old consume more than 500 ml of liquid in a day? Easily. If dry formula is mixed using fluoridated water the child is already over the amount considered safe just from the water. The formula also contains some fluoride. What about the baby that consumes 800 to 1000 ml? They are consuming more than 3 times the safe dose. In Canada between 10 and 15% of babies are exclusively formula fed from birth and the number is slightly higher in low income households. The argument that fluoridation benefits the poor the most is not supported by the numbers. What do you say to mothers who cannot breastfeed, especially the ones who can’t afford avoidance measures?

                  • Richard Christie says:

                    I regard your dosage argument as laughably simplistic and therefore spurious. It ignores the fact that liquid and fluoride is excreted as a continuous process. You calculate as if a dose is ingested and dealt with by the body as a discrete event.
                    In addition I suspect you have no medical training or expertise in the physiology of how the digestive tract and excretive organs handle compounds such as fluoride.
                    The argument should be accorded as much weight as any tall tale designed to frighten children and terrify the dim of wit.

                    • Dan Germouse says:

                      Richard, it’s you who is the laughable simpleton. Infants retain a large majority of ingested fluoride in their bodies when chronically dosed, as is the case with the daily drinking of infant formula made up with fluoridated water. If you read the chapter on pharmacokinetics in the 2006 US National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards you might subsequently have some idea of what you’re talking about. I’m not holding my breath, though.

                    • Richard Christie says:

                      Am I then correct that you have no medical training or expertise in the physiology of how the digestive tract and excretive organs handle compounds such as fluoride?

                      You can make up bizarre personal pet theories , but only a fool would take them as valid.

                      If your scary scenario is valid then it will have happened, many times over. Poisoned babies galore.

                      Try again when you can find a credible paper supporting the occurrence of your scenario.

          • Here we go the antis love quoting the 2006 report but they dont want to know about the 2007 one

            Opponents of community water fluoridation continually cite the 2006 NRC report ad infinitum, and ignore the rest including the 2007 report:
            “In this report, the NRC considered research issues related to the medical geology field on connections between earth science and public health, addressing both positive and negative societal impacts. This report identified fluoride as a mineral that can positively influence human health, and although earlier NRC reports were not conclusive in their opinions, this report concluded that fluoride was considered to be an element essential for human life based on its role in cellular functions involving metabolic or biochemical processes. The report further stated that fluoride in drinking water has two beneficial effects: preventing tooth decay (dental caries) and contributing to bone mineralization and bone matrix integrity.”

          • Let’s look at the NRC 2006 report:
            From page 2 of the Executive Summary for the 2006 NRC Report reference on what exactly the 12-member panel of the committee DID NOT review:
            “Addressing questions of artificial fluoridation, economics, risk-benefit assessment and water-treatment technology was not part of the committee’s charge”.
            There were 3 avowed opponents to fluoridation on the 12 member panel of the 2006 NRC Study. The three anti’s goal was to get the MCLG for fluoride reduced to 0. They did not succeed.
            The report came out in March 2006 that concluded at 4 ppm or above there were only 3 concerns:
            1) 10% of kids would get severe dental fluorosis (drops to 0 % at 2 ppm).
            Drinking water at a fluoride concentration of 4 ppm or above over a lifetime:
            2) Increased risk of skeletal fluorosis
            3) Increased risk for bone fractures.
            The 3 opponents signed off on the final document, but they continue to do the anti-fluoride circuit claiming that fluoridation at optimal levels causes all kinds of “ugly things”.
            On March 22, 2013, Dr. John Doull sent this E-mail to Matt Jacob of the PEW Foundation:
            “Dear Matt, In response to your question, I do not believe there is any valid scientific reason for fearing adverse health conditions from the consumption of water fluoridated at the optimal level. I also feel that there is no reason why Kansas City residents should avoid drinking the fluoridated water that is provided by the community water system. Sincerely, John Doull, M.D., PhD, Chair of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council 2006 Committee report on Fluoride in Drinking Water.

        • Dan Germouse says:

          There is no high quality research which supports fluoridation. You are using these reviews as a smokescreen for the complete absence of high quality original research to support your case. And of course there is no legitimate rebuttal to the observation that forced-fluoridation is a blatant abuse of human rights.

          • There is no high quality research which supports fluoridation.

            Assume for the moment that what you say is completely true.
            (Just for the giggles.)

            You are using these reviews as a smokescreen for the complete absence of high quality original research to support your case.

            Well, it’s not “his” case. It’s the scientific consensus.
            But why quibble?
            Let’s go with your assertion that there’s a complete absence of research.
            Okey-dokey.
            Then how did the scientific consensus appear?
            By magic?

            No.
            A scientific consensus doesn’t appear by magic.
            No scientific consensus does.
            The scientific consensus on vaccines didn’t appear by magic.
            The scientific consensus on evolution didn’t appear by magic.
            It’s doesn’t just somehow, mysteriously happen.
            There’s a long, boring, standard process involved.
            Doesn’t matter what the topic.

            Can you name a single scientific community anywhere on the planet that rejects the scientific consensus on water fluoridation?

            There’s no research? Really?
            Hmm.
            Um, ok. Fine.
            But then….inevitably, now you have to embrace a global scientific conspiracy.
            Somehow, water gets fluoridated and this is a terrible, terrible, just terrible thing.
            I mean really terrible.
            Ok. Go with that.

            Yet…. where’s the scientific communities rejecting this terrible state of affairs?
            How come you (some anonymous guy on the internet) see it clearly but the CDC (for example) does not?

            How does the conspiracy work?
            What’s the mechanism?
            Why is it that after 70 years of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, anti-fluoridationists are still eaking out an existence on the outer fringe sharing a stage with the likes of nutters like Alex Jones?

            Putting stuff in public water supplies is…public.
            Put bad stuff in it and science would notice.
            Water supplies get tested constantly.
            There’d be hell to pay if people got sick or died because of “X” in the water.
            So if there’s something bad in the water, flouride or something else, then how does it stay there for 70 years?
            As conspiracies go, that’s an amazingly successful conspiracy.

            It’s silly. It was silly back in your grandad’s day and it’s still silly now.

            • peter says:

              You sound like an parrot from the US Cedric Katesby with a huge ego and very little grey matter to go with it. If you are from the US I suggest you butt out as there are thousands of problems you have over there you need to work on sorting out including having the largest number of people ingesting fluoride and a health standing that few would envy as in 29th out of 30 OECD countries. And guess what your life expectancy is decreasing as well. And don’t forget bankruptcy, your nearly there! I guess I can look for to your eternal ignorant parrot ravings again!

            • Dan Germouse says:

              Cedric, the only intelligent response to my comment would have been to admit that you can’t find any high quality original research to support the case for forced-fluoridation. If any such research existed, an intelligent response would have been to cite at least one such study, but of course you can’t do that because there are no such studies. I’ve called your bluff, and that of your fellow forced-fluoridation fascists, so many times it’s ridiculous. If you were smarter, you would cut your losses instead of digging a deeper hole for yourself.

              • Your’ rant was all over the place like a mad woman’s custard.
                I hope you feel better now.

                So….how does the conspiracy work? What’s the mechanism? Why is it that after 70 years of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, anti-fluoridationists are still eaking out an existence on the outer fringe sharing a stage with the likes of nutters like Alex Jones? Putting stuff in public water supplies is…public. Put bad stuff in it and science would notice. Water supplies get tested constantly. There’d be hell to pay if people got sick or died because of “X” in the water. So if there’s something bad in the water, flouride or something else, then how does it stay there for 70 years? As conspiracies go, that’s an amazingly successful conspiracy.

                • Dan Germouse says:

                  Lead was added to gasoline for close to 70 years. I suppose you think that was perfectly safe and should be resumed, and the people who say otherwise are conspiracy theorists. The industry-funded US pathologist Robert Kehoe was a key promoter of both leaded gasoline and forced-fluoridation, btw.

                  • Lead was added to gasoline for close to 70 years. I suppose you think that was perfectly safe…

                    What part of “scientific consensus” do you not understand? How many times must I repeat myself and explain the bit about methodology before it sinks in?

                    …and the people who say otherwise are conspiracy theorists.

                    Scientific consensus?
                    Hellooooooo?
                    It doesn’t appear by magic.

                    The industry-funded US pathologist Robert Kehoe…

                    Who? And why should anyone care?
                    Scientific consensus, remember?
                    One person =//= a scientific consensus.

                    It’s very simple. If you think that you can draw a parallel between the issue of lead in gasoline and flouride in water then go for it.
                    You can start with the scientific consensus.

                    If you think you can draw a parallel between the methodology of the anti-flouride nutters and those that successfully got lead out of gasoline then do so.

                    Personally, as far as I can tell, they are two different histories.
                    You are going to have to bring more to the table than asking me to take your word for it.
                    Evidence would be nice.

                    The history of lead in gasoline and how it was eventually removed has much more in common with the tobacco industry and the risks of smoking., as far as I’m concerned.

                    But go for it. Make your case if you can.

  3. Ken says:

    That should read “There was clear evidence of beneficial effects of fluoride . .” Bloody iPads.

  4. Burnt Out Teacher Burnt Out Teacher says:

    John, I disagree very strongly with you on this.

    1. There is no conflict amongst serious professional scientists who understand the research; they all reach the same conclusion: fluoride at correct levels is extremely effective at preventing large-scale tooth decay. Instead of just reading a few things on the innernets and considering themselves sudden experts, more people should trust the opinion of the people whose professional lives have been dedicated to researching and finding out. They are not “brainwashed” by the “medical industry” – they actually learn, from observation, study and research, for a living.

    One or two scientists (their areas of expertise as-yet unannounced) opposing fluoridation does not a movement make.

    2. England’s lack of fluoride CERTAINLY doesn’t mean we should copy them. (English teeth omg!!)

    3. I love how people who are against fluoridation as “mass medication” don’t seem to worry about the added chlorine, which kills bacteria in the water, making it safe to drink.

    4. I used to be anti-fluoridation, when I was younger, and easily swayed by conspiracy theories. Then I grew up.

    • I have to concur with BoT on this.

      Like her, I used to be anti-flouro. Even bought “Red Seal” non-flouridated toothpaste.

      Some years ago, in an online flouridation debate, I was researching science-based evidence for my position.

      I couldn’t find any.

      What I did find was a mix of conspiracy theorists, “alternative heath” advocates (urine therapy, anyone?); anti-vaccination campaigners; and peddlars of various ” natural medicines”.

      Did you know that according to anti-vaccination campaigner, Jane Bürgermeister, vaccines are the work of the NWO to cut the human population on Earth by 50%?! Gosh!

      In fact, the more I read, the more I concluded I was wrong in my beliefs, and changed accordingly. (I don’t cling stubbornly to opinions if sound evidence can be presented pointing to an opposite conclusion.)

      So I’m now in the pro-flouro camp. (Unless new sound evidence is presented.)

      As for the “mass medication” argument – I don’t buy that at all.

      We have “mass medication” with vaccination programmes and most would accept that this is a major cause for the decrease of diseases such as smallpox, polio, whooping cough, TB, et al.

      We chlorinate water.

      We add vitamin C to fruit drinks.

      We add iodine to salt.

      It is a collective measure we take, for collective benefit.

      The alternative to “mass medication” (to use the unfortunate term) is the individualisation of health responsibilities in our society.

      Note that: the individualisation.

      It is a further expansion of the Cult of the Individual, where My Rights are superior to the the needs of the wider community.

      And I think we all know where that ideology emanates from, and where it leads?

      • dpalenski says:

        The drop in IQ the data, was usually sourced from places with fluoride levels higher than normally used in most fluoridated water supplies.

        Dr Connett doesn’t seem to mention this from what I remember

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6eeedSasQ8

        Warning video is 1 hour 26 minutes long

        • David Hodges says:

          I don’t know whether Dr. Connett mentions in that video what the fluoride levels were in places were reduced IQ is found in and I’m not going to watch an hour and a half of video just to find that out, but he certainly mentioned it in his talk and he mentions it on his website. The lowest level of fluoride at which reduced I.Q. was found was 1.8ppm, a little over twice the concentration added to water in New Zealand. So children who drink twice as much water as average (many children – children with diabetes may drink up to five times as much water as average) may be at risk of reduced I.Q.

          • China does indeed have a fluoride problem, high levels in the groundwater and contamination from the use of coal for cooking and heating both contribute to exceedingly high dosages for the populations in various provinces and villages.

          • Dan Germouse says:

            Actually, one of the 26 studies in the 2012 Harvard University systematic review and meta-analysis which found reduced IQ had a fluoride concentration in drinking water for the high fluoride location of 0.88 ppm.

        • David Green says:

          That is partially true. One study was with water fluoride at .9 ppm.
          The key point with the Chinese studies is that the subjects wouldn’t have had much fluoride from other sources because they lived in isolated villages and didn’t use toothpaste.

          The other key study correlated higher blood fluoride levels with decreased IQ. That is why I agree with the author here. We should shut down fluoridation entirely until we can conduct studies to see if there is a correlation between dental fluorosis in young people and IQ.

          • Ken says:

            The Chinese studies were of low quality, quite apart from the generally high fluoride concnetrations. They did little to consider confounding factors. For example, NZ work has shown that family education and breastfeeding influence the IQ of children, but not fluoridation. The Chinese studies did not consider these other factors.

            • David Green says:

              Perhaps that is because breast milk only has about 4 ppb fluoride and even when the mother drinks fluoridated water it doesn’t change much.

              Did the work you are referring to differentiate between breast fed and formula fed babies? If so I would be interested in seeing it. If not then I think the picture may not be accurate.

              • Ken Perrott says:

                David, you are straw clutching there. The benefits of breast milk over formula are not related to F content. Breast milk is known to be deficient in a number of trace elements.

                Of course the NZ work differentiated. It is part of the Otago long term study. The specific work on fluoride and IQ is currently submitted for publication so you will get to see it once published.

                • David Green says:

                  I look forward to seeing that. I have only ever heard that breast milk was low in iron and when I looked into that I found one article suggesting fluoride might be causing the low iron. Are there other trace elements that are lacking in breast milk?

                  Can you comment on my math for exposure by formula fed infants above?
                  Every time I bring it up with a proponent of fluoridation, the conversation gets quiet.

                  • Ken Perrott says:

                    David, there are a number of deficient elements and this also depends on mothers’ diets. Yes there can be an interaction between different elements – but don’t clutch at straws over that.

                    I think other shave criticised your maths, hardly quiet. But the question of fluoride intake for formula fed infants has been covered in the US and NZ. There is acknowledgment that intake can exceed recommended levels some of the time but this is not considered problematic. However, parents who are concerned have been advised to occasionally use non-fluoridated water to lower the risk of very mild dental fluorosis.

                    • David Green says:

                      No there are no comments that question my math, just my credentials which is all that is left when one runs into an irrefutable argument.

                      Thank you for at least acknowledging my point. What do you say to the mothers who must bottle feed and can’t afford bottled water or an RO system?
                      “Sorry but it’s for the greater good”?

                    • Ken Perrott says:

                      I would say – don’t worrry. That is the advice of the health experts.

                      If the parents were concenrend about the slightly increased risk of very mild dental fluoriosis I would tell them to occasionally use non fluoridated sources. Not a hardship. And the benefits of fluoride far outweigh any negatives of very mild dental fluorosis anyway.

                      If they were concenred about something like IQ I would tell them not to list to charlatens and snake oil salemen.

      • Michal says:

        I don’t approve of any of the things you have listed as collective measures that are okay. I drink unadulturated water that comes from my roof in the city of Auckland. I eat salt that isn’t iodine infected. Fruit drinks are just that, junk food.

        Doing all these things doesn’t make it right to add fluoride to the water system, this is mass medication.

        And now we have the lobby to get bread fortified with folic acid… for pregnant woman, for goodness sake where does it end.

        The drop in many of the dieases was in fact caused primarily by the better living standards that came in in the fifties.

        So when they get a vaccine for rhuematic fever will you say yep we need this too. RF is a third world disease prevalent now in NZ because of overcrowding i.e. poverty!

        And what of the fact that pasting fluoride on teeth is what many appear to say should be done, not ingesting it at all.

        • Adding folic acid (aka Vitamin B9) to bread in mute quantities would not affect us.

          But it would assist the development of foetuses and prevent conditions such as spina bifida – a condition that can result in a person spending his/her life in a wheelchair; multiple operations; other medical interventions; and using artificial assistance for simple things like urinating.

          This is what I mean by the collective good benefitting from such additions to our foodstuffs.

          Vitamin B9 is not some dastardly chemical or GMO, it’s a naturally occurring vitamin. And in this case we can help unborn children avoid a nasty condition that, in many cases, will restrict their lives.

          Not a bad trade-off, I would think.

        • Richard Christie says:

          Unadulterated water from your roof in Auckland? I hope you aren’t suggesting it is pure or free of contamination.

          Fact: Fluoride is an environmental trace element that occurs naturally, at some level, in many if not most artesian and river/lake sourced water supplies. Thus humans have been ingesting it since prehistory. Fluoride is naturally incorporated (a bioapatite) as a component in human bones and teeth.

          Fact: despite numerous legal attempts by anti-fluoridation activists, particularly in the USA, to have public water supply fluoridation declared an act of medication, none have ever been successful. NZ Law and regulations also do not regard it as medication, rightly so, as it is ludicrous to suggest such a trace element, one that is naturally occurring in our diet and environment is either medication or a drug.

          Public water fluoridation merely adjusts the concentration of often pre-existent fluoride to optimal levels for public health.

          Fact: Not ingesting fluoride at all results in lower strength of bones and teeth than does ingesting it from sources where it occurs in optimal concentrations.

          Fact: Both topical and systemic application of fluoride play a role in improved dental heath.

          • D says:

            Fluorides are a large group of chemicals containing the element fluorine. Yes, *some* fluorides are naturally occurring, and sometimes in natural water sources. Yes, *some* fluorides are necessary to bodily health, and are available not only through natural levels in water, but through many foods. I’ve seen no evidence that the fluorides used in water fluoridation are the same naturally-occurring fluorides human bodies are used to being exposed to, or that the sources are pure.

            Also, none of this justifies adding extra fluorides for a medical purpose (improving dental health), in a way that makes it difficult for people to opt-out, and potentially unhealthy if it results in less consumption of water. Citing US policy on medical ethics (as if the US know *anything* about ethics), rather than the many European countries (for example) where water fluoridation is seen as mass medication, is a classic example of the cherry-picking anti-fluoridationists are so often accused of.

            >> Both topical and systemic application of fluoride play a role in improved dental heath. <<

            Where is your evidence for this? "Facts" listed without evidence are merely propaganda.

            BTW Just for a change, let's try to have this debate without patronizing each other. The scornful expert approach merely alienates people, and feeds energy to populists, as discussed in this blog:
            http://officialinformationact.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/colin-craig-what-is-not-to-be-done.html

            • Richard Christie says:

              We are talking about the fluoride anion.

              A fluoride anion is a fluoride anion is a fluoride anion.

              Source doesn’t come into it, no matter how you much wave your hands about, talking of natural sources etc.

              Free fluoride anions occur in natural water supplies.

              Actually, do you know what a fluoride anion is? I’m not being patronising but your comments suggest you are not familiar with the chemistry of water fluoridation.

              Both topical and systemic application of fluoride play a role in improved dental heath.

              Fluoride is incorporated into teeth enamel when the teeth are forming. Once teeth are formed and erupted it is predominantly a topical (surface) action that delivers on going benefit to dental health.

              Where is your evidence for this? “Facts” listed without evidence are merely propaganda.

              Check out CDC website and follow the links.
              or use google yourself, this took all of 2 seconds to find

              http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1752-7325.2004.tb02775.x/abstract

              http://www.ada.org/2684.aspx

              http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/fluoridation/en/l-3/5.htm

            • Ken says:

              D – you ask for evidence that both surface and systemic mechanisms are involved in the beneficial role of fluoride for dental health. I attempted several times to bring this to Paul Connett’s attention during our debate – he seemed to have trouble with the concept. 🙂

              However, if you want evidence check out the citations I presented to Paul in our exchange (http://openparachute.wordpress.com/fluoride-debate/).

              Or have a look at this recent paper Cho, et al (2014). Systemic effect of water fluoridation on dental caries prevalence. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24428350)

          • peter says:

            How often have I seen this rubbish about natural levels of fluoride. Sure there is such a thing but fluoride is not an essential nutrient. How many times do some of you need this fact thrown at you! We do not need the stuff! And here we go again! The fluoride that goes into our water supply is scrubbed from the smoke stacks of super-phosphate works and is called hexafluorocilisic acid, an extremely dangerous and volatile poison. If you want to drink the stuff then do so by all means but do not dare even think about making a decision that all other New Zealanders should be drinking it too! Mothers milk contains around .004ppm of fluoride and that’s the sum total of what a human gets for that brief time, and should ever get in a lifetime!

            • Daniel Ryan says:

              It is a beneficial trace element though.

              Fluoride incorporates into the crystalline structure of enamel, forming fluoroapatite, and contributes to resistance to degradation by bacterial acids.

              “hexafluorocilisic acid, an extremely dangerous and volatile poison”
              But you don’t drink HFA, you drink the result, which is a fluoride ion. It all comes out the same out of your tap. I made a simple image to understand this:
              https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=599838393387842

              • David Green says:

                It’s a trace element. Beneficial is a judgement.

                Health Canada calls it a “Beneficial Mineral Nutrient” even though a quick check of the Oxford English Dictionary reveals quite clearly that HFSA is neither a mineral or a nutrient. They do that to avoid classing it as a drug which would require two things for approval: Proof of efficacy through clinical trials and long term toxicology studies. Neither of these are available for HFSA.

                That’s how our government works. Protecting policy by any means possible and ignoring the existing laws if they are an inconvenience.

                You want me to adopt their postion? People my thinking I share their ethics.

                • Daniel Ryan says:

                  “It’s a trace element. Beneficial is a judgement.”
                  Did you ignore what I said?

                  “Fluoride incorporates into the crystalline structure of enamel, forming fluoroapatite, and contributes to resistance to degradation by bacterial acids.”
                  Please tell me have this isn’t beneficial?

                  You can also read the other benefits I created in this helpful infographic backed up with sources(you will need to zoom in):
                  http://www.msof.co.nz/images/pdf/fluoridation-oral-benefits.pdf

                  “Dictionary reveals quite clearly that HFSA is neither a mineral or a nutrient.”
                  As I keep repeating over these comments. HFA isn’t what is drank. It is the fluoride ions is the finished product. Chemistry 101:
                  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=599838393387842

                  “Health Canada calls it a “Beneficial Mineral Nutrient””
                  This is a NZ site, but its arguing semantics if they do. I just call it a beneficial trace element which both sides (mostly) agree too.
                  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=584604234911258

                  • David Green says:

                    I am not disputing that it is beneficial when applied topically, but the only rationale for swallowing it would be the slightly higher levels in saliva found in people consuming fluoridated water compared with those not. The difference is from about 6ppb to 16 ppb. The CDC admits that this difference would not have signigicant benefit as a topical source. I can dig out their statement if you want.

                    Calcium fluoride is a mineral. A fluoride ion is not and neither is HFSA. The Oxford dictionary definition of a nutrient includes the word “essential” which we know fluoride is not. It might be written off as semantics or you could call it using terminology to influence the way people think about fluoride which I call deceptive marketing.

                    • Richard Christie says:

                      So what’s the damage here?

                      1) Anonymous Wikipedia editors used the word “mineral” when really, they ought to have perhaps used the word “substance”.

                      2) Some health authorities historically referred to F- as a “nutrient” and have since stopped doing so and adopted a more concise term. (Which only goes to highlight how foolish basing an argument on semantics might be).

                      I’d like to applaud the anti-fluoridationists in here for creating several paragraphs of outrage about these issues before they then shot down their own talking point in well deserved triumph.

                    • Daniel Ryan says:

                      Evidence shows fluoride in saliva does help:
                      http://www.msof.co.nz/images/pdf/fluoridation-oral-benefits.pdf

                      It also helps bones:
                      Effects of treatment with fluoride on bone mineral density and fracture risk–a meta-analysis
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17701094
                      “Fluoride treatment increases spine and hip BMD, depending on treatment duration. Overall there was no effect on hip or spine fracture risk. However, in subgroup analyses a low fluoride dose (< or =20 mg/day of fluoride equivalents) was associated with a significant reduction in fracture risk."

                      "CDC admits that this difference would not have signigicant benefit as a topical source"
                      Not the main benefit correct but still helps. It also helps pre-eruptive teeth.

                      "which I call deceptive marketing."
                      Then go complain to 'Health Canada', we are talking about NZ here.

                    • David Green says:

                      Daniel,

                      I traced your first reference back to the original research, Caries and fluoride processes-Ingram, and I don’t see anything in the conclusions that addresses the issue. That last line seems to suggest the opposite. Did I miss something of importance in the paper?

        • Michal And I keep my teeth in a glass

        • D'Esterre says:

          @ Michal: ” I drink unadulturated water that comes from my roof in the city of Auckland.” Ha! Good luck with that. I hope that you’ve got a really grunty filter on your water collection system: if you haven’t, just count up the pollutants that’ll be in your drinking water. Bird and rodent droppings will be the most benign, I’m guessing.

          “I eat salt that isn’t iodine infected.” You do know, don’t you, that iodine is an essential trace element for human health? Its absence – or inadequate dietary levels – leaves you susceptible to thyroid disease. My grandmother died in the late 1920s from toxic goitre, a disease directly related to inadequate iodine levels in the diet.

          Cretinism is another unfortunate consequence of a lack of dietary iodine. Go look it up on Google if you haven’t heard of it. And you’re worried about fluoridation? Go figure…

          Please note, “folic acid” is vitamin B9. Here is a quote from Wikipedia: “Vitamin B9 (folic acid and folate) is essential for numerous bodily functions. Humans cannot synthesize folate de novo; therefore, folate has to be supplied through the diet to meet their daily requirements. The human body needs folate to synthesize DNA, repair DNA, and methylate DNA as well as to act as a cofactor in certain biological reactions.[7] It is especially important in aiding rapid cell division and growth, such as in infancy and pregnancy. Children and adults both require folic acid to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia.[8]”

          If you’re opposed to folic acid, I’m guessing that you won’t eat oranges because they contain ascorbic acid, right? Look it up, too. Auntie Google’s a wonderful thing….

      • David Hodges says:

        Sure there are loads of nutcases who are against fluoride but that doesn’t mean that everyone who is against fluoride is a nutcase. That is flawed logic.

      • Mary Byrne says:

        Frank,

        These are amazingly bad analogies:

        We chlorinate water to treat the water not treat the person.

        We add vitamin C to fruit drinks and people can choose which fruit drinks they buy.

        We add iodine to salt but people can choose to buy plain salt and iodine is, at least, an essential nutrient whereas fluoride is not.

        It is not a collective measure we take but a measure imposed upon others by people who think they know what is best for everyone regardless of what others think.

        The driving force behind the quest to end fluoridation is not a move to individualism, but a serious concern for the well being of the whole community.

        There is no collective benefit, there is collective harm, with some people being more harmed than others.

      • Dan Germouse says:

        You either have no idea how to do research, or are deliberately dishonest.

    • Danyl Strype says:

      >> Instead of just reading a few things on the innernets and considering themselves sudden experts, more people should trust the opinion of the people whose professional lives have been dedicated to researching and finding out <<

      What, you mean like Paul Connett, who is a Professor of Chemistry? Whereas most of the pro-fluoride experts seem to be dentists, basically oral panelbeaters. I wouldn’t expect a mechanic to give an expert opinion on the effects of flushing chemicals from his workshop into our environment.

      Can Ken, Frank, or BoT please provide us with a list of pro-fluoride experts whose background is in chemistry, toxicology, or some other relevant field?

      • Richard Christie says:

        Connett is not a professor of Chemistry.

        He is a retired working scientist with a PhD in chemistry.
        Connnett has never published a single peer reviewed research paper on fluoride or fluoridation. Not one, zippo.

        Whereas most of the pro-fluoride experts seem to be dentists, basically oral panelbeaters.

        – if that is the way you wish to collectively describe the consensual position of the world’s scientific and health communities then you might be right, but actually, you are not.

        • Michal says:

          Dr. Paul Connett, Professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University in New York

          So the above is incorrect then?

          • Richard Christie says:

            Yes, that is incorrect as Connett is retired.

            However, I’ve been unfair to merely describe him as having had a career as a “working scientist”, yes, he was once on U StL staff, his research area was incineration and waste management and has published on his own area of particular expertise – dioxin.

            Dr Paul Connett – “Retiree” see http://www.stlawu.edu/directory/

          • D'Esterre says:

            @ Michal: Connett is an emeritus professor. This is a title given to some retired academics. There is no salary involved, and no academic status attached. Universities around the world are full of emeritus professors of various types.

            Richard Christie is right: Connett is a retired scientist, who has a PhD in chemistry. But he has no research “chops” in fluoride; it wasn’t his area of research or expertise.

        • David Green says:

          Richard,

          Has consensus ever been later proven wrong?

          Your last sentence sums up entirely the smugness of many pro-fluoridationists. I often wonder if you folks ever stop to think whether you are attracting people to your viewpoint by talking down to them or repelling them. If you aren’t trying to attract them, then why are you here?

          • Richard Christie says:

            I know you are uncomfortable with the fact that a scientific consensus exists, based on seven decades of research.

            I have every confidence that if the research indicates the current understanding of water fluoridation is flawed , then the scientific understanding will shift with it.

            Science does that, it is based on evidence.

            If you dispute this then you will have to explain and provide a mechanism to explain the refusal of science to shift.

            The only way you can do that will be to invoke a conspiracy theory. There is no escape.

            BTW, are you following instructions on Fluoride Free NZ on Facebook to comment and rate here, David?

            • David Green says:

              No Richard there is one other explanation. Whether you call it bias or protection of ego or maintaining of professional credibility, it is well summed up in a phrase often attributed to Max Planck:

              “Science changes one funeral at a time.”

              I was unaware of any instructions from FFNZ, but what is your point in asking?

              • Richard Christie says:

                We’ve had a period of public water fluoridation for 70 years

                That’s, let me see, um, almost three generations.

                Plenty of time for funerals in a period that long.

                ..yet..

                the global scientific consensus on fluoridation hasn’t budged.

                Hmm,

                C’mon Dan, it’s a conspiracy, just spit it out, you know you want to.

              • 70 years is a very long time.
                The anti-fluoridationists started with newsletters and vantity press books and lectures in hired church basements.
                ….and they are still there.
                Only now, of course, they have the internet too.

                On the other side. we have the CDC and all the rest.

                Seventy years is plenty of time for funerals.
                Or perhaps David is suggesting that all the relevent scientific communities on the planet are run by vampires?
                Hmm.

          • “Has consensus ever been later proven wrong? Your last sentence sums up entirely the smugness of many pro-evolutionists. I often wonder if you folks ever stop to think whether you are attracting people to your viewpoint by talking down to them or repelling them. If you aren’t trying to attract them, then why are you here?”

            “Has consensus ever been later proven wrong? Your last sentence sums up entirely the smugness of many global warmists. I often wonder if you folks ever stop to think whether you are attracting people to your viewpoint by talking down to them or repelling them. If you aren’t trying to attract them, then why are you here?”

            “Has consensus ever been later proven wrong? Your last sentence sums up entirely the smugness of many pro-vaccinators. I often wonder if you folks ever stop to think whether you are attracting people to your viewpoint by talking down to them or repelling them. If you aren’t trying to attract them, then why are you here?”

            Happy, happy me. It’s just one sweet example after another from multiple posters. The hits just keep coming.

            • Dan Germouse says:

              Richard and Cedric have completely missed the point, as usual. Firstly, the consensus coming from the sickness industry has often been wrong in recent history. Secondly, science is based on evidence and reason, and consensus has nothing to do with it. The forced-fluoridation freaks have no answer to the ethical problems inherent with the practice. The only thing they could do to give their case some support would be to cite good quality original research studies, but they can’t do that because there are no such studies which support their case.

              • “Firstly, the consensus coming from the sickness industry has often been wrong in recent history. Secondly, science is based on evidence and reason, and consensus has nothing to do with it. The forced-anti smoking freaks have no answer to the ethical problems inherent with the practice. The only thing they could do to give their case some support would be to cite good quality original research studies, but they can’t do that because there are no such studies which support their case.”

                “Firstly, the consensus coming from the sickness industry has often been wrong in recent history. Secondly, science is based on evidence and reason, and consensus has nothing to do with it. The vaccine freaks have no answer to the ethical problems inherent with the practice. The only thing they could do to give their case some support would be to cite good quality original research studies, but they can’t do that because there are no such studies which support their case.”

                “Firstly, the consensus coming from the sickness industry has often been wrong in recent history. Secondly, science is based on evidence and reason, and consensus has nothing to do with it. The “HIV links to AIDS” freaks have no answer to the scientific problems inherent with the theory. The only thing they could do to give their case some support would be to cite good quality original research studies, but they can’t do that because there are no such studies which support their case.”

                So very beautiful.
                (..sniff…)
                An endless stream of sweet, sweet rationalisations that fit every single nutty science denier position out there. Only the labels change.

              • Daniel Ryan says:

                “answer to the ethical problems inherent with the practice”

                Ethical issues have been examined by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics who:

                -Rejected the prohibition of water fluoridation based on the argument of mass medication and restricting personal rights.

                -Affirmed that water fluoridation should be accepted based on the quantified risks and benefits, the potential alternatives, and, where there are harms, the role of consent.

                They also used a ‘stewardship mode’ to analyse the acceptable degree of state intervention to improve population health, concluding that water fluoridation can be justified based on its contribution to the goals of stewardship: the reduction of health inequalities, the reduction of ill health, and the concern for children, who represent a vulnerable group.

                http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/sites/default/files/files/Public%20health%20Chapter%207%20-%20Fluoridation%20of%20water.pdf

      • sam says:

        Interesting? Funny I don’t remember panelbeating 101 in my training? I remember getting straight A’s against 1400 other health science applicants to secure my place in 1st year dental school.. After that I remember biochemistry/biology/pathology/phamarcology.. oh and yes.. some dental SURGERY.
        Interesting how easily people with absolutely no idea what a dentist does or has to go through to be a dentist are experts on what a dentist’s job and education entails. Where can I get this “oral panelbeater” degree? Is it on the back of a weetbix packet? Sounds cheaper than the 100k + degree I remember.

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        “Can Ken, Frank, or BoT please provide us with a list of pro-fluoride experts whose background is in chemistry, toxicology, or some other relevant field?”
        You know Dr Ken Perrott is has a Dr in Chemistry right?

      • Peter Archer says:

        Yeah, right!!! The same “Experts” who so often get it wrong!!!

        Asbestos… 245T…. thallidomide…. various pharma drugs, which have now been shown to be too dangerous to continue using…. various pesticides…. not to mention tobacco… all of these, we were assured by these same “experts” were harmless!

        Yeah, right!!!!

        • Rosalind says:

          245T is remarkably nontoxic to human beings. It is the dioxins that occur as contaminants in 245T that cause the problem. 245T fell out of favour because it is extremely expensive to prevent that contamination, and more economic to switch to 24D instead.
          Thalidomide is back on the market and extremely useful for certain rare, serious conditions including some cancers. It is not the only teratogenic drug on the market by any means, but provided those drugs are used subject to strict controls on fertility, they are very useful.
          Premarket testing of pharmaceutical drugs does occasionally let a bad one through, but hundreds upon hundreds of candidate chemicals are prevented from reaching the pharmaceutical market by testing in animals and human volunteers. The Vioxxs of the pharma world are few and far between.
          No toxicologist ever said that asbestos or tobacco were harmless.

          • Dan Germouse says:

            Surely the fact that big mistakes are sometimes made is a very good reason for respecting the principle of informed consent. In the case of fluoride, there are no credible studies which indicate safety, and it is a cumulative toxin. You seem to think toxicologists can do no wrong. What is your opinion of Harold Hodge?

            • as usual dangermouse makes all these great statements without a shied of proof to back them up fluoride has been around for 70 years and you lot have had that time to prove unconditionally that it is all the nasty thing you say it is ,but its growing in use in the USA so what is wrong with your research

          • peter says:

            Rosalind. I’m sorry but you just have no credibility! ‘245t remarkably nontoxic to human beings’. What University did you go to? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1r8Jn07Oxg

            • Rosalind says:

              [sarcasm] Oh well of course a scaremongering youtube clip always outweighs the vast bulk of work on 245T. [/sarcasm]
              If you look up reliable sources of information such as the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, you will see that 2,4,5-T itself is of low human toxicity, causing at worst some things like dermatitis in chronically exposed workers. The carcinogenicity and teratogenicity associated with 2,4,5-T exposure appears to be attributable to the dioxin contaminants, just as I said.

        • Lissa says:

          They wont mention that History is full of things science thought was good and safe and turned out not to be.. their egos are just too tied up in it to be cautious about the human body. When they show me one single RCT over 5 yrs that show no long term adverse side effects of fluoride and clear evidence that fluoride in the water alone stops tooth decay, i might listen, until then its just all anecdotal evidence and that just isnt good enough when dealing with human health.

          • Richard Christie says:

            …i might listen,…

            Evidence suggests otherwise.

            Your comments to date indicate that, in regard to efficacy and safety of CWF, you prefer cherry picked studies, opinion pieces and misinformation from activist organisations over the consensus position of the global scientific community and every dental and medical community on the planet.

            They wont mention that History is full of things science thought was good and safe and turned out not to be.. their egos are just too tied up in it to be cautious about the human body.

            Altogether too much of Teh Stupid.

            • Lissa says:

              How about you show me the RCT for fluoride which is standard for showing the efficacy of any form of treatment on disease.

              Can you show me any documentation that shows in countries that do not fluoridate they do not have declining tooth decay rates.

              Show me the long term controlled studies on water fluoridation and the prevalence of mild to moderate skeletal fluorosis

              Any of those at your finger tips?

          • They wont mention that History is full of things science thought was good and safe and turned out not to be.. their egos are just too tied up in it to be cautious about the human body.

            So how does the global scientific conspiracy work with this ego thing?
            Every science denier group from the HIV deniers to the climate deniers does the exact same handwaving.

            When they show me one single RCT over 5 yrs that show no long term adverse side effects…

            What adverse side effects?
            You do realise that water flouridation has been around for over 70 years, right?
            That’s not even including the parts of the world where trace levels of flouride occur naturally and have always been there.

            Water supplies get tested all the time. If something is found in it that causes adverse effects, there is hell to pay.
            There is no secret, spooky-wooky conspiracy to poison water supplies.
            It’s like chlorine in the water.
            Where’s the one single RCT over 5 years that shows you no long term adverse side effects on chloride?
            I don’t hear any empty-headed prattle from you about that.

      • Ken says:

        Danyl, Paul Connett has done no original research on fluoride or fluoridation. He admits that.

        He provided me with a list of his publications: 3 related to fluoride – 2 were letters to the editor, 1 was a joint review paper in a shonky journal.

        He has done original research on some waste issues and incineration – quite unrelated.

        Since retirement he has kept himself busy with his activist organisation Fluoride Alert. He and his mates (mostly family or retired like Hirzy) trawl the literature to find anything they can use to discredit the beneficial role of fluoride. They rake up newsletter and papers in foreign languages, usually substandard research, and use them as “evidence.”

        You can do this sort of cherry picking and cofirmation bias on any topic or obsession you have. But it is not honest science. Such literature review should be done critically and intelligently.

        I know some people consider Paul as some sort of god or idol – but he has feet of clay in this respect.

        Mind you – there is a chance for redemtion. In the original draft of his last article in our exchange he said he had submitted a paper on fluoride to a scientific journal and was planning another. We will have to see just what journal (who thinks it might be “Fluoride”), and if they are accepted.

        One thing for sure, Paul is not the “world expert on fluoridation” his idols present him as.

      • D'Esterre says:

        @ Danyl Stripe: “most of the pro-fluoride experts seem to be dentists, basically oral panelbeaters.”

        On this comment thread, we have people accusing so-called “pro-fluoridationists” of insulting others with differing views, yet here you are calling dentists “oral panelbeaters”, and it doesn’t sound like a compliment. Apologies to all you panelbeaters out there! But this is a really unhelpful analogy.

      • Rosalind says:

        Quite, Connett is a chemist, not a toxicologist. Furthermore he was a professor of chemistry only at an obscure community college in NY state. A community college in the USA is essentially the same as a technical institute here. In short, his ‘academic’ qualifications are scant, and in the wrong discipline. Chemists with no training in physiology, pathology or other biomedical sciences make extremely poor toxicologists.

      • Rosalind says:

        I am a double Board-certified toxicologist, and I am 100% pro-fluoride. I drink fluoridated water right here in New Zealand and I am happy to do so. My PhD is in pathology and I completed a postdoctoral residency in toxicology. I have been actively working in toxicology since 1999. I know quite a few other highly qualified and experienced toxicologists who are pro-fluoride, too.

        • Rawina says:

          Good for you – I am sure your brain has shrunk & that is why you are pro fluoride. It has been proven (Harvard Studies) to shrink the pineal gland which means you cannot think for yourself. So it is simply too late for you —

          • Good for you – I am sure your brain has shrunk & that is why you are pro fluoride.

            Ad hominem.

            • Either something is an ad hominen or it is not. It’s something you can look up and find out for yourself. No need to shoot the messenger. Voting me down doesn’t make the ad hominem somehow go away. Deal with it.

          • Ah, yes, Luke. You antifluoridationists are so predictable with your “information” gleaned off of “fluoridealert.org” that you are just like clock-work in posting it.

            “A single researcher has published one study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal regarding fluoride accumulation in the pineal gland. The purpose of the study was to discover whether fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland of older adults. This limited study, conducted on
            only 11 cadavers whose average age at death was 82 years, indicated that fluoride deposited in the pineal gland was significantly linked to the amount of calcium in the pineal gland. It would not be unexpected to see higher levels of calcium in the pineal gland of older individuals as this would be considered part of a normal aging process. Approximately 99% of the fluoride present in the body is associated with hard or calcified tissues.

            The study concluded fluoride levels in the pineal gland were not indicators of long-
            term fluoride exposure.

            The same researcher has theorized in unpublished reports posted on the Internet that the accumulation of fluoride in children’s pineal gland leads to an earlier onset of puberty. However, the researcher notes that there is no verification that fluoride accumulates in children’s pineal glands. Moreover, a study conducted in Newburgh (fluoridated) and Kingston (non-fluoridated), New York found no statistical significance between the onset of menstruation for girls living in a fluoridated verses non-fluoridated area.”

            ——http://www.ada.org/sections/newsAndEvents/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf

            —–Whitford GM. The physiological and toxicological characteristics of fluoride. J Dent Res 1990;69(Spec Iss):539-49.

            ——Luke J. Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal
            gland. Caries Res 2001;35:125-28.

            —— Schlesinger ER, Overton DE, Chase HC, Cantwell KT. Newburgh-Kingston caries-fluorine study XIII: pediatric findings after ten years. J Am Dent Assoc 1956;52:296-306.

          • Rosalind says:

            The pineal gland is not in any way used for thinking. It is associated with responding to day length.

      • peter says:

        Well said Danyl

  5. Daniel Ryan says:

    “It is not the stuff of “flat-earthers” or climate-science deniers.”
    Yes it is. You are denying what the actual science is saying. You are believing in a fringe group.

    “Professor Connett described the late Dr John Colquhoun – formerly the Chief Dental Officer for Auckland – as one of New Zealand’s heroes”
    John has shown to be wrong. I suggest you read this

    I have even looked at one of his statements, it was totally wrong.

    All major health organisations are basically pro-fluoride.

    I suggest you actually read high quality papers, or systematic reviews here.

    Connett cherry picks, or uses poor papers to back up his statements. You need to look at the systematic reviews to get a better idea of the whole literature without the bias.

    John Minto please just stick with supporting the scientific community and not just one anti-fluoride guy.

    • Michal says:

      Have fringe groups ever been right about anything, mmmm I am sure the anti-apartheid movement and the peace movement, the anti nuclear energy movement and many others were fringe groups in their time.

      Now about that scientifically approved drug Thalidomide!

      • sam says:

        You are not mentioning fringe groups if you are referring to anti-apartheid, or the peace movement. Seriously?

        • Michal says:

          Of course i am that is exactly what they were when they started!

          • D'Esterre says:

            @ Michal: “Of course i am that is exactly what they were when they started!”

            No they weren’t. Go look at the history. Auntie Google again….

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        “Have fringe groups ever been right about anything”
        I’m saying we should trust the experts and what the scientific community accepts. If the anti-fluoride groups are right then they will do the peer reviewed papers needed to prove their point. So far they haven’t. Do you also agree with the anti-wifi, creationist or the anti-vax groups?

        “mmmm I am sure the anti-apartheid movement and the peace movement, the anti nuclear energy movement and many others were fringe groups in their time.”
        But those groups didn’t question the science, they question the ethics.

        “Now about that scientifically approved drug Thalidomide!”
        What about it? Thalidomide still gets used as an cancer and leprosy treatment drug. Of course they now know the side effects and carefully monitor who takes it.

        • Danyl Strype says:

          “But those groups didn’t question the science, they question the ethics.”

          They question both. The anti-nuclear movement did and does regularly challenge claims about the science from industry-funded groups. In fact, Dr Robert Mann, who was one of the expert witnesses in the Hamilton Council flouridation review was also an expert witness for anti-nuclear hearings. What about the anti-GE movement? I’ve heard Dr Mann speak out against the faulty scientific claims of the biotech industry too. See a pattern here?

      • Michal – We still have them… Creationists… Scientologists… International Raëlian Movement…

        • Andys says:

          You forgot Climate Deniers.

          Imagine denying the climate? I know it is hard to imagine, but these people actually exist

          They deny that climate exists!

          Just like the flat earthers, creationists, anti vaxxers, anti gmo anti nuclear, anti science, anti Semitic,

          They are everywhere.

      • Bevan Morgan says:

        False equivalency.

      • Rosalind says:

        What about thalidomide? It is currently in use for multiple myeloma, erythema nodosum leprosum, graft-versus-host disease, HIV and Behçet’s disease, to name a few. Would you deny those patients a useful drug?
        Thalidomide was not tested by modern standards of safety testing. Prior to its original release, it was only tested in rats, a species generally resistant to phocomelia. Had it been tested for teratogenicity in rabbits, the problem would have been recognized. As a result of the thalidomide-induced phocomelia epidemic, drug testing was changed so that drugs must be tested in TWO species rather than just one for teratogenicity, and the rabbit, a species susceptible to phocomelia and other teratogenic effects, is routinely used for testing the teratogenic effects of drug candidates.

        • Dan Germouse says:

          Please show me a single study on fluoride which is in accordance with “modern standards of safety testing” and supports claims to safety.

          • Rosalind says:

            Several people in this thread have already linked to excellent studies that show the safety and efficacy of fluoride, but you have ignored them.

    • David Hodges says:

      “All major health organisations are basically pro-fluoride.”

      That may be broadly true however you neglected to mention that the United States Centre for Disease Controls warns that fluoridated water should not be used to make up infant formula.

      So to say that Dr. Connett’s views are the views of “just one anti-fluoride guy” is very misleading. Water fluoridation has been condemned by thousands of doctors, dentists, scientists and at least one Nobel Prize winner in medicine, while a dozen other Nobel Prize winners in chemistry and medicine have expressed reservations about it.

      http://fluoridealert.org/issues/water/opposed/

      Does infant formula come with a prominent warning on the label not to use fluoridated water ? Not that I’m aware of.
      Does Plunket warn mothers not to use fluoridated water with infant formula ? No.
      Does the government offer to provide free unfluoridated water for mothers who are unable to breastfeed and may struggle to afford bottled water ? No.
      Our formula-fed babies are being poisoned and our government is doing nothing about it.

      • Mischele R says:

        And it’s a pity Plunket is “funded” largely by the fluoride toothpaste-producing corporation of Colgate. What a “conflict” !! This is possibly
        why Plunket will not warn parents not to use fluoridated water for bottle -fed babies.
        I wrote a letter of my concerns to the Plunket Head approx. 3 years ago and never received a reply.

        • peter says:

          And do some research on Colgate’s part at Otago Medical School’s Dental unit. You will not be surprised!

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        “Disease Controls warns that fluoridated water should not be used to make up infant formula.”
        Why are you making up misinformation?

        This is what the CDC says:
        “Can I use optimally fluoridated tap water to mix infant formula?
        Yes, you can use fluoridated water for preparing infant formula…”
        http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/infant_formula.htm

        “So to say that Dr. Connett’s views are the views of “just one anti-fluoride guy” is very misleading”
        I’m not saying there are others are against it. I’m saying that his post basically says that Connett is his reason not to believe. Why doesn’t he trust the experts, people who actually submitted peer reviewed papers in top Journals many times over, unlike Connett.

        You seem to believe FAN website when infants and fluoridation when it has been shown to be safe to use. Remember our water has 0.7-1.0 ppm, and our infant formulas have no extra fluoridation like other countries. I suggest actually directly quoting the studies and not FAN if you want to be taken seriously.
        Have a read on what MOH says on this subject:
        http://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/fluoridation/fluoride-and-health/infant-formula-and-fluoridated-water

        It has quoted this study:
        “In 2006 the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide published the conclusions of an expert workshop of fluoride use in Australia held in October 2005. That meeting considered the issue of infant formula and infant dietary fluoride levels in Australia. Recent Australian studies have not revealed any evidence of an association between consumption of infant formula and enamel fluorosis.
        The Australian workshop concluded that:
        -while there had historically been some infant formula powders with high fluoride content, infant formula products now have very low levels of fluoride;
        -infant formula is safe for consumption by infants whether reconstituted with fluoridated or non-fluoridated water.”

        You are basically putting fear where there is none.

    • Danyl Strype says:

      “All major health organisations are basically pro-fluoride.”

      All the organisations you list here are US or NZ, except for the World Dental Federation (see my comments on oral panelbeaters). This is cherry-picking.

      “John Minto please just stick with supporting the scientific community and not just one anti-fluoride guy.”

      In other words, “John, stop doing your own research, and listening to dangerous dissenting views.” Actually, the advancement of science requires a regular re-evaluation of the evidence in light of dissenting views, and as Thomas Kuhn wrote in his book about paradigm shifts, sometimes the established consensus gets completely overturned by new evidence.

      When I started investigating water fluoridation as an independent journalist I was a fence-sitter, but I have been pushed to become much more sympathetic to the anti-fluoridationists because of the constant attempts by pro-fluoridationists to shut down debate and guilt trip dissenters into conforming to the current consensus. There are plenty of examples in the comments here. If you are so confident that the science is on your side, why resort to these tactics?

      • All the organisations you list here are US or NZ, except for the World Dental Federation (see my comments on oral panelbeaters). This is cherry-picking.

        At the risk of mimicking a certain pedantic troll, with inance questions; do you know of any “major health organisations that are basically anti-fluoride “?

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        “All the organisations you list here are US or NZ, except for the World Dental Federation (see my comments on oral panelbeaters). This is cherry-picking.”
        Cherry picking? Did you see how many I list?
        I can only speak english. But did you see this massive list too?
        http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/RespectedOrgs-noPics_v2a.pdf

        “Actually, the advancement of science requires a regular re-evaluation of the evidence”
        Of course and the evidence is constantly gets looked over all the time. For example NSIF checks all the new peer reviewed papers on fluoridation and posts the results.

        But you can’t expect someone that isn’t an expert in the area to judge on ths science. I suggest John sticks with the mainstream science.

        “If you are so confident that the science is on your side, why resort to these tactics?”
        Example where I have? I welcome the debate on our Facebook page “Making Sense of Fluoride”. Come on and have a discussion if you want to learn the evidence.

        Dr Ken Perrott has even debated Connett which we posted all about. We tried to get Andrew Sparrow to debate Connett, but FANNZ refused to set up the debate(read about it on our page). They only want to debate people that they want. Who is trying to shut down debates now?

        • Danyl Strype says:

          “Cherry picking? Did you see how many I list? I can only speak english. But did you see this massive list too?”

          Cherry picking doesn’t mean a lack of volume, it means drawing conclusions from an unrepresentative sample, which is exactly what you have done here. The larger list from the Campaign in Defence of Oral Health is mostly the same as your smaller list, with the addition of a handful of organisations from Canada and the UK. Nothing from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and only one from a global health organisation, the WHO, who also admit that fluoridation almost unavoidably causes dental fluorosis:
          http://www.who.int/oral_health/action/risks/en/index1.html

          “you can’t expect someone that isn’t an expert in the area to judge on ths science.”

          I fundamentally disagree. Sound science can be explained to a lay audience, even one of children. Only dodgy science relies on mystification and what is essentially an ‘appeal to authority’ fallacy; the “experts” are right, the “conspiracy theorists” are wrong, trust us.

          “We tried to get Andrew Sparrow to debate Connett, but FANNZ refused to set up the debate(read about it on our page).”

          Well I could read your Facebook page, but I wouldn’t want to be just believing random stuff on activist sites I found on the innernets 😉

          • Daniel Ryan says:

            “Well I could read your Facebook page, but I wouldn’t want to be just believing random stuff on activist sites I found on the innernets”
            It was a discussion with FANNZ members. Unless you don’t believe in them too?

            “Nothing from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East”
            It wasn’t meant to be a complete list, just a large sample. But feel free to show which major health organisations/health boards I should add on and I’ll have a look into it.

            “I fundamentally disagree.”
            We will have to agree to disagree with each other.
            I personally will stick with mainstream science. Just like with any other science subject and hope others will do the same.

            “Only dodgy science”
            Except you ignore the highest quality of evidence. Which some would call cherry picking.

            “the WHO, who also admit that fluoridation almost unavoidably causes dental fluorosis”
            Yes, but at the 0.7-1.0ppm range, you can only get very minor to minor fluorosis. Which is mainly cosmetic, with evidence showing teeth to be stronger.

    • Dan Germouse says:

      The US National Research Council is not a fringe group. Anyone can read its 2006 report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards and see that many people being subjected to forced-fluoridation are exceeding the tolerable upper intake, that forced-fluoridation has come nowhere near being proven safe, and that some of the most basic safety studies have never been conducted.

  6. fatty says:

    Come on John, you need to stop hanging out with the conspiracy theorists.
    Keep your eye on the prize. Let’s focus on what is damaging our young people – poverty and capitalism. We don’t have the luxury of chasing these shaggy dog stories. You have the opportunity to write about anything on TDB, so use it! Leave the conspiracy theories to the Conservatives…you and Mana should be better than that.
    If you can’t think of anything relevant to say, then I am more than happy to write you a post. How about the gendered nature of employment in Chch at the moment? How about the racist and sexist structure of our apprenticeship system?

    How about Maori unemployment?…It’s Waitangi Day FFS. It’s Waitangi Day and you wrote a conspiracy rant. WTF?

    • Michal says:

      As far as I am aware John is not spokesperson for Mana on this issue and certainly doesn’t write for the Daily blog as a Mana person but as a person who has had the guts to stand up on many issues over many many years, more than anyone I know.

      I think John was probably wanting a debate not slagging.

      I think your offer to write a post for him is incredibly arrogant. If you want to write for the Daily Blog perhaps you should get in touch with the editors.

      I too resent having this crap put in the tap water that also goes to water my garden and gets flushed down the bog. Scientists have been wrong many times before.

      • sam says:

        Scientists have been wrong before..
        They have also been right.. many times.. exponentially more times.

      • ” Scientists have been wrong many times before….”

        – The Earth is not flat…

        – The Earth is not at the center of the Universe…

        – The Earth was not created in the year 4004BC…

        – Dinosaurs and humans did not co-exist…

        – Alchemy does not work…

        – Spontaneous generation is not real…

        and more recently,

        – CFCs are harmful to the ozone layer…

        – greenhouses gases caused by human activity are having an impact on atmospheric and ocean heat/energy levels…

        I think science has a fairly good strike rate.

        Of course it doesn’t always get it right. I can point to thalidomide, asbestos, tobacco, lead in paint, etc. But science is a progression of knowledge through observation and collecting data.

        Typing away on our keyboards through optic fibre cables instead of telegraphing blogposts via morse code is a pretty good example of getting it right…

        • Dan Germouse says:

          You are conflating the physical sciences with the sickness industry. They are very different things. There is no credible science which supports forced-fluoridation.

      • fatty says:

        John is inextricably linked with Mana. He was a candidate in Manukau East. Plus he’s probably the third face of Mana according to mainstream NZ (behind Hone and Sue Bradford…Annette Sykes doesn’t get the publicity she deserves) I spend hours every week promoting and defending Mana because they speak for the silenced and focus on class issues and racism.
        Offering to write an article on John’s behalf is not arrogant, what does he expect if he posts this on Waitangi Day? John should be writing about Mana’s policies and why they are way better than Labour’s. Just the other day I had to watch a Labour hack on TV shit all over Hone and Mana!
        And we Mana supporters wonder why we are at 0.3%
        We have limited resources and limited opportunity to show that we have the best policies.
        If it’s arrogant to demand that we use the little power we have, then call me arrogant. What next? A post about the Illuminati?

        • Michal says:

          Minto is linked with lots of things, just because he has finally joined a political party doesn’t mean everything he blogs on has to be a tilt for Mana. Get over it!

    • Andys says:

      Yes I agree it is National Racist Bigot day.
      We need to reach out and share our national racist pride as one, not get hung up on anti science rants.

  7. Richard Christie says:

    John Minto: This is serious stuff. It is not the stuff of “flat-earthers” or climate-science deniers.

    Dead wrong John. That is exactly what this is.

    Anthropogenic-climate-change deniers, anti-vaxers, young-Earthers, intelligent design: – their proponents all use the same flawed methodology to arrive at and argue their position – particularly so in their use of scientific evidence. Cherry picking studies, quote mining, outright misrepresentation and, perhaps most tellingly, ignoring the scientific consensus clearly articulated by the representatives of the scientific and related communities (e.g. medicine and dentistry).

    Scientific consensus in regard to fluoridation exists.

    Scientific consensus is based decades of hard work in the scientific arena.

    I challenge John Minto to identify even a single scientific, or medical body, that disputes the scientific consensus that fluoridation of public water supplies is both safe and effective as a public health measure.

    While he is fruitlessly searching he might like to consider the next position he will logically find himself in. How to explain the lack of any contrary position from any scientific community without his having to resort to conspiracy theory.

    Science Denial, by definition it is the denial of the evidence.

    • Andys says:

      I agree, science denial is a rot in our society.
      Take for example Michael Mann, possibly one of the greatest scientists ever, and a Nobel prize winner to boot.

      Vilified by anti science deniers like Prof. Richard Lindzen, Prof Judith Curry, Prof Richard Muller, all anti science deniers with a published paper record and contributors to the anti science IPCC

    • David Hodges says:

      “The scientific consensus” that fluoridation is safe and effective is limited to a very small number of countries. Water fluoridation is banned in several countries in Europe and there is only a single town in the whole of continental Europe that adds fluoride to drinking water.

      • Richard Christie says:

        “The scientific consensus” that fluoridation is safe and effective is limited to a very small number of countries.

        Total garbage.

        The scientific consensus on fluoridation’s safety and efficacy is global.

        Science doesn’t magically change at boarders.

        How individual countries choose to deliver the dental health benefits of fluoride is up to each country.

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        “Water fluoridation is banned in several countries”
        Only Sweden has banned it from being topped up in their water. But even then they still have ~8% naturally occurring fluoride in there water which they don’t care about. They even did studies to show the benefits of the towns that received the fluoridated water.

        Many other countries also have naturally fluoridated water, fluoridated salt or milk. For example Switzerland has 83% of its salt fluoridated.

        “only a single town in the whole of continental Europe”
        Are you forgetting Ireland? With 71% of their population getting fluoridated water.
        UK gets 10% of their water topped up with fluoride.

    • Dan Germouse says:

      I challenged Richard months ago to cite a single good quality original research study (i.e. the evidence he refers to here) to support his case, but he couldn’t manage it, and he still can’t. He and his fellow forced-fluoridation fascists can go on about evidence all they like, but the reality is that all they have is a pile of poor quality studies.

      • Richard Christie says:

        Dan Germouse, the scientific community and its representitives (e.g. CDC, Surgeon General etc etc etc) could, and have, shown you scores of high validity studies supporting the efficacy of water fluoridation. indeed, there are many cited in this thread.

        That you simply close your eyes is no reflection on them.

  8. Richard Christie says:

    The science is not “settled” on the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies –

    The science is not “settled” on the effect of tobacco on human health

    The science is not “settled” on the contribution of human beings toward greenhouse gases and climate change

    The science is not “settled” on the origin of the species, where are the missing links?

    The science is not “settled” on the benefits of vaccination and their risks

    (yawn)

    h/t Cedric Katesby

    • Michal says:

      You aren’t the Richard Christie that works for Ravensdown by any chance?

      • Richard Christie says:

        You aren’t the Richard Christie that works for Ravensdown by any chance?

        No, no relation.

        • Danyl Strype says:

          A remarkable coincidence. If you are not the Richard Christie who is a Group Manager at Ravensdown, who are you?

          • Richard Christie says:

            If you are not the Richard Christie…

            but I am Richard Christie!

            ….who are you?

            I am Richard Christie!

            I am no relation to another Richard Christie who apparently works for Ravensdown.

            Is my answer insufficient?

            Maybe you’d rather construct a conspiracy theory to explain the spooky coincidence.

        • Macro says:

          the source of fluoride added to our water is Hydrofluorosilicic acid a waste product from the fertiliser works producing super phosphates.

          • Richard Christie says:

            Hydrofluorosilicic acid is one of the common ways to add fluoride to water.

            Lets get one thing clear, as H2SiF6 is utilised it is not a waste product, it is a useful byproduct of the industry.

            Antifluoridationists push emotive buttons with misleading terminology such as “toxic waste” “medication” etc but ultimately it doesn’t matter to the end result, in the process fluoride anions are added (or in some supplies, removed) to the supply.

            • Danyl Strype says:

              Hold the phone. You are admitting that the fluoride used in our water supply is a by-product of industry? So it is *not* the naturally-occurring form of fluoride we would expect to find in our drinking water? Doesn’t this debunk the claim that fluoridation is not a medical treatment because it’s adjusting the levels of *naturally-occurring* fluoride in the water? Is adding a different fluoride chemical adjusting the level of the “naturally-occurring” fluoride?

              As for the guilt-by-association fallacies (anti-fluoridationists = climate change deniers or flat earthers). This is a desperate and sad example of attacking the speaker, not debating the issue.

              • Richard Christie says:

                Facepalm.

                Fluoride is fluoride is fluoride.

                Get it?

                It’s the same thing, regardless of where it comes from.

                Fluorine atoms don’t come equipped with a life history of what they have been doing since their creation billions of years ago in a stellar furnace.

                Hydrosilicic acid breaks down in PH neutral water to silicon (sand), water and the fluoride anion. The solid silicon settles and is removed during treatment.

                • Danyl Strype says:

                  Um, no. Fluorine is fluorine is fluorine, yes. Fluorides are a large family of chemical compounds containing fluorine, in combination with other elements. Each fluoride may has its own unique properties and may affects the body in different ways (whether positive or negative).

                  Secondly, fluorides from natural sources are unlikely to be mixed with anything but naturally-occurring compounds (unless that natural source has been polluted by industry). Whereas fluorides from industrial sources may be contaminated with all manner of heavy metals and other toxins used in those industries.

                  Thirdly, you are effectively admitting that fluoridation is a form of corporate welfare, where the ratepayer pays the industry (how much $ per year) to take waste off their hands which industry would otherwise have to pay millions to dispose of safely. Combined with providing an excuse not to properly fund dental care as part of the public health system, fluoridation is neoliberalism in action.

                  • Richard Christie says:

                    We are not talking about a fluoride compound or salt, silly.

                    We are talking about the fluoride anion.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoride

                    F-

                    Singular.

                  • Richard Christie says:

                    Secondly, fluorides from natural sources are unlikely to be mixed with anything but naturally-occurring compounds (unless that natural source has been polluted by industry). Whereas fluorides from industrial sources may be contaminated with all manner of heavy metals and other toxins used in those industries.

                    Again, this is total nonsense. Harmful contaminants occur naturally as well as from industrial sources.

                    Levels of contaminants are monitored and regulated by water supply authorities. The contaminant argument in respect to fluoridation is totally fallacious.

                    Thirdly, you are effectively admitting that fluoridation is a form of corporate welfare, where the ratepayer pays the industry (how much $ per year) to take waste off their hands which industry would otherwise have to pay millions to dispose of safely. Combined with providing an excuse not to properly fund dental care as part of the public health system, fluoridation is neoliberalism in action. –

                    Don’t be silly. Any industrial process can produce beneficial byproducts. Are you suggesting it such material be dumped rather than utilised? That our society only use purpose made products at huge cost over using the exact same material already available as a byproduct? Really?

                    As for the funding thing you are interviewing your own keyboard.

                  • Baza says:

                    To add to DS – An indirect confirmation the HFA that goes into our water contains cadmium at least & possibly arsenic,other heavy metals. This comes from the legal prohibition by MAF to sell animal organs for human consumption over 18 mths old because of cadmium contamination. Regardless of the inorganic chemistry of F, it does not alter the fact we are being used as mobile toxic waste disposal units for the 1 percent we drink, not counting any effect of washing clothes & dishes,showers, cooking,watering the garden. It is untested, unapproved & is confirmed by the local council to come direct from the chimney scrubber of the fertiliser works. No wonder 97 percent of Europe & 95 percent of the world do not put F in water. What must it feel like to be a vocal pro F minority & the laughing stock of a more enlightened world? More like pathetic pseudo keyboard warriors attacking a person who has made a choice based on research & has the cohones to share that opinion.

              • Richard Christie says:

                As for the guilt-by-association fallacies (anti-fluoridationists = climate change deniers or flat earthers). This is a desperate and sad example of attacking the speaker, not debating the issue.

                Let me help you end your confusion here.

                It’s about methodology. The reasoning processes we follow to allow one to draw a conclusion.

                Employ a faulty reasoning process and you will arrive at a fallacious conclusion.

                It’s that simple.

                Drawing attention to the similar fallicious processes employed by climate change deniers, antivaxers, anti fluoridationists et al, processes that allow all of them to happily reject the evidence based conclusions of the scientific community is not attacking the speaker. It is possible to look up definition of ad hominem, google can be your friend. It is perfectly legitimate to expose the shared methodology of such groups.

              • As for the guilt-by-association fallacies (anti-fluoridationists = climate change deniers or flat earthers). This is a desperate and sad example of attacking….

                It’s not that hard to understand.
                Focus.
                Science denial is a real thing.
                It happens.

                Some people deny the dangers of smoking.
                Some people deny that NASA landed on the moon.
                Some people deny the efficacy of vaccines.
                Some people deny evolution.
                It’s a big list.

                It’s not about association at all.
                It’s about………methodology.

                If you don’t want to be put in the same box as those other wierdos out there then there’s an easy way to avoid that. Just demonstrate that your way of doing things ( i.e. your methodology) is completely different from “them”.
                So far, it’s identical. Just switch the labels around to see for yourself.

              • D'Esterre says:

                @ Danyl Stripe: “You are admitting that the fluoride used in our water supply is a by-product of industry? So it is *not* the naturally-occurring form of fluoride we would expect to find in our drinking water? Doesn’t this debunk the claim that fluoridation is not a medical treatment because it’s adjusting the levels of *naturally-occurring* fluoride in the water? Is adding a different fluoride chemical adjusting the level of the “naturally-occurring” fluoride?”

                You’re a journalist, right? No background in science, then. Not even high school science, by the looks. The argument you’re making here is bogus: it’s the fluoride ion which counts. Its source is irrelevant. Really. See Richard Christie’s comments.

                • peter says:

                  I’m so tired of those who insist that fluoride is an essential nutrient or that in some way we need to get into our bodies! Here is a question for you to answer: Evidence about whether or not Fluoride is an essential Nutrient is discussed by various professionals and Agencies. Given the evidence presented, is the National Academy of Sciences’ claim that fluoride is a nutrient fraudulent? Has there ever been a case of fluoride-deficiency disease documented (like scurvy, for example)? Well no of course there has not been. Find one if you can and let us know about it!

  9. What i,m really waiting for is a quality peer reviewed paper that is published in a recognized scientific publication ,that states “fluoride is dangerous to humans in the >.7 PPM range”

    • Peter Archer says:

      You might be waiting a long time, because the pro-fluoride ‘establishment’ will not commision any such studies, because once the result came out, that would be the END of their pet theories, and the END of fluoridation!

      • Richard Christie says:

        It’s a conspiracy! “they” control all the scientists.

      • @ Peter – so why doesn’t the anti-flouro ‘establishment’ commission such a report? Wouldn’t that help your case?

        Especially if it meant “the END of fluoridation!”?

        (I’ve changed my position on flouridation once, based on my own research into the issue. I can change it again – if credible evidence is presented. So far, I haven’t seen any.)

      • “You might be waiting a long time, because the pro-global warming ‘establishment’ will not commision any such studies, because once the result came out, that would be the END of their pet theories, and the END of global warming!”

        “You might be waiting a long time, because the pro-evolution ‘establishment’ will not commision any such studies, because once the result came out, that would be the END of their pet theories, and the END of evolution!”

        “You might be waiting a long time, because the pro-moon landing ‘establishment’ will not commision any such studies, because once the result came out, that would be the END of their pet theories, and the END of the moon landing hoax!”

        Science denial: Only the labels change.

    • David Hodges says:

      There have been a number of peer reviewed papers in recognized scientific publications, that found evidence of harm at 0.7ppm.
      For example Elise Bassin’s study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer, Causes, and Control in 2006, that found higher rates of bone cancer in teenage boys exposed to fluoridated water earlier in life. “Quality” can be a rather subjective term. I suspect you would find any study finding evidence of harm at that concentration to be “poor quality” or at least inconclusive.

      • Daniel Ryan says:

        “There have been a number of peer reviewed papers in recognized scientific publications, that found evidence of harm at 0.7ppm.”
        Any that haven’t been disproved or not from low quality journals?

        “For example Elise Bassin’s study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer, Causes, and Control in 2006”

        “Q: Didn’t a study published by Dr. Elise Bassin in 2006 find a link between boys who drank fluoridated
        water and an increased risk of bone cancer?
        A: First, Bassin and the other co-authors of that study called it “an exploratory analysis,” and they noted, “Further research is required to confirm or refute this observation.” Second, the Bassin study was based on data collected retrospectively (after the fact) from patients or family members, meaning the fluoride exposure was estimated by recalling residences where the patient had lived. The fact that fluoride exposures were estimated and not confirmed makes such data somewhat unreliable. This new study used a much more reliable measure of individual fluoride exposure by measuring it directly in bone, not estimating it by memories of residence history linked to water department records. This new study adds to the weight of evidence of other studies that have not shown an association between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma and reassures us that fluoride is not a cause of cancer.”
        http://www.idph.state.ia.us/IDPHChannelsService/file.ashx?file=EB7880CF-BA46-4CE7-8FCD-3B86F89DE051

        Other flaws in this study:
        http://www.ada.org.au/app_cmslib/media/lib/0703/m50777_v1_osteosarcoma_fluoride_fact_sheet.pdf

        “or at least inconclusive.”
        You can’t prove something is safe, you can keep testing if it is unsafe. There is a paper that show less cancers in fluoride areas but you need to look at all the evidence and not cherry pick.

        You can read a number of papers and raw stats listed showing that fluoridation does not cause cancer, article written by Dr Alison Campbell.:
        https://www.facebook.com/fluoridewater/posts/657208794317468?stream_ref=10

        • In a letter to the editor of the journal Cancer Causes Control,
          “Chester Douglass, principal investigator of the Harvard Study, advises readers to be cautious when interpreting the [Bassin] findings, noting the following reasons:
          • The preliminary findings from the overall analysis of the cases identified between 1993 and 2000 (second set of cases) do not show an association between osteosarcoma and fluoride in drinking water.
          – The cases had been identified from the same hospitals within the same orthopaedic departments and the same pathology departments diagnosing osteosarcoma, and similar methods of fluoride exposure
          Bone specimens were also provided by many of the cases – preliminary analysis of bone specimens suggests fluoride level in the bone is not associated with osteosarcoma.
          The 1990 NIEHS National toxicology Program study found an association with high levels of fluoride in drinking water and osteosarcoma in male rats. However, the findings of their second study did not find an association.
          Some of the limitations noted by Bassin et al in their paper include:
          The estimates of fluoride in drinking water at each residence do not reflect the actual consumption of fluoride.
          The study did no obtain biologic markers for fluoride uptake in bone.
          The actual amount of fluoride in a fluoridated supply may vary (within guideline levels).
          Natural fluoride levels can vary over time (the researchers thought this unlikely for the time spent at each residence).
          There is a lack of data on other potential confounders.
          Fluoride may not be causative agent
          – another factor in drinking water may be correlated with the presence of fluoride.
          Data to assess fluoride exposure from
          diet, industrial sources of other sources such as pesticides was not available – cases
          may have been exposed to other unknown factors such as contaminants or carcinogens in the bottled or well water, with the fluoride in these products or natural sources irrelevant, regardless of the concentration.”
          ——–Douglass, C.W. and K. Joshipura, Caution needed in fluoride and osteosarcoma study. Cancer Causes Control, 2006(17): p.481-482

      • In a letter to the editor of the journal Cancer Causes Control,
        “Chester Douglass, principal investigator of the Harvard Study, advises readers to be cautious when interpreting the [Bassin] findings, noting the following reasons:
        • The preliminary findings from the overall analysis of the cases identified between 1993 and 2000 (second set of cases) do not show an association between osteosarcoma and fluoride in drinking water.
        – The cases had been identified from the same hospitals within the same orthopaedic departments and the same pathology departments diagnosing osteosarcoma, and similar methods of fluoride exposure
        Bone specimens were also provided by many of the cases – preliminary analysis of bone specimens suggests fluoride level in the bone is not associated with osteosarcoma.
        The 1990 NIEHS National toxicology Program study found an association with high levels of fluoride in drinking water and osteosarcoma in male rats. However, the findings of their second study did not find an association.
        Some of the limitations noted by Bassin et al in their paper include:
        The estimates of fluoride in drinking water at each residence do not reflect the actual consumption of fluoride.
        The study did no obtain biologic markers for fluoride uptake in bone.
        The actual amount of fluoride in a fluoridated supply may vary (within guideline levels).
        Natural fluoride levels can vary over time (the researchers thought this unlikely for the time spent at each residence).
        There is a lack of data on other potential confounders.
        Fluoride may not be causative agent
        – another factor in drinking water may be correlated with the presence of fluoride.
        Data to assess fluoride exposure from
        diet, industrial sources of other sources such as pesticides was not available – cases
        may have been exposed to other unknown factors such as contaminants or carcinogens in the bottled or well water, with the fluoride in these products or natural sources irrelevant, regardless of the concentration.”
        ——–Douglass, C.W. and K. Joshipura, Caution needed in fluoride and osteosarcoma study. Cancer Causes Control, 2006(17): p.481-482

    • Debz – I’d be interested in that as well.

  10. bloodyhell says:

    I have no scientific knowledge in the pros or cons in adding fluoride to the water supply, and I am not particularly interested in gaining that knowledge.

    My objection is to the mass medicating of any population. Whether through the water or food supply.

    It’s a bloody mission to check cereals, breads, juice etc. as to what vitamin or mineral fortification is in them.

    • Daniel Ryan says:

      But it isn’t classed as a medicine. It is a beneficial trace element.
      You can read what Medsafe says about that here:
      https://www.facebook.com/notes/making-sense-of-fluoride/why-fluoride-water-is-not-classed-as-a-medicine-under-the-medicines-act-medsafe/563797943658554

      • Hayden says:

        Dan, an erroneous opinion letter from Rowan is not categorised as science or law. Come back when you have both.

        • Daniel Ryan says:

          His views are backed up by the law. There has never been one case that has been won to show water fluoridation to be a medicine. You can’t call a trace element a medicine.

          If you are then you have to call my milk with extra added calcium a medicine.

          • Hayden says:

            Dan, you fail on the most basic concept of this whole issue. Calcium is a dietary nutrient, (required for the human body). Fluoride is a toxin that is detrimental to human health, much like lead, arsenic, and mercury.
            The FDA consider fluoride to be a drug.
            http://fluoridealert.org/researchers/fda/drug/

            • Rosalind says:

              Fluoride is most certainly is not a toxin. A toxin is a poison synthesized by a living organism, e.g. snake venom, plant alkaloid. Fluoride is an inorganic anion. People who use the word ‘toxin’ incorrectly merely exhibit their complete lack of knowledge of toxicology.

              • peter says:

                Oh common now Rosalind. You must have heard about the fluoride spills what happened to the concrete it fell onto and this was fluoride bound for city water supplies and the cases where too much was put into supplies and there were emergency procedures carried out and the dangerous goods papers required to transport the stuff and the skull and cross bones on the sacks that I have seen myself! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ7P1vkIpCk

                • Richard Christie says:

                  Peter here is a hint:

                  Reply to a writer’s actual statement, not to something you imagine they stated.

                • It’s not the first time you’ve done that Peter. Shame on you. Have you bothered to even look the word “toxin” up for yourself or not?

                • Rosalind says:

                  Peter, please read the whole post before responding. I was explaining what the term ‘toxin’ means. It is NOT an appropriate term for an inorganic ion like fluoride.

            • Daniel Ryan says:

              “Calcium is a dietary nutrient”
              Never said it wasn’t.

              So my point still stands. You care calling my milk a drug.

              “The FDA consider fluoride to be a drug.”
              Fluoride can be a drug at higher contractions. But fluoridation at 0.7-1.0 ppm isn’t. These are the letters when I asked the FDA:

              https://www.facebook.com/notes/making-sense-of-fluoride/does-the-fda-or-the-epa-class-fluoride-in-our-water-a-medicinedrug/570382699666745

              • Hayden says:

                Dan “So my point still stands. You care calling my milk a drug” (sic)
                No I’m definitely not. Not unless it’s fluoridated milk. You’ve drawn a false conclusion from your letters. You will note that the EPA considers fluoride to be a CONTAMINANT. Here the FDA considers it to be a DRUG http://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/fda-2000a.pdf In order to ensure the public water supply is CONTAMINATED with the minimal possible level of DRUGS then the solution is simple. Stop adding them.
                Dan, please don’t come back until you can understand the basics. Either you’re being disingenuous, or you’re actually irrational and deluded enough to somehow believe the illogical, unscientific and unethical nonsense that is water fluoridation.

          • Hayden says:

            Daniel
            “His views are backed up by the law”
            Quote the relevant legislation. There may be medsafe guidelines that specifically name fluoridated water as excluded from being a medicine, even though it fulfills all criteria of the definition. If you think there is something in law, cite your specific source.

            “There has never been one case that has been won to show water fluoridation to be a medicine.”
            Here’s one: European Court of Justice 2005: Fluoridated water must be treated as a medicine, and cannot be used to prepare foods.

            For the pedantic Rosalind, it shall be referred to as a toxic substance, or cumulative poison. Or as the EPA classifies it: A hazardous waste. Or as the FDA classifies it: An unapproved drug.
            It is an endocrine disrupting protoplasmic poison, in water it is a contaminant and certainly not a “beneficial trace element” or a “nutrient”.

    • @ Bloodyhell – you’d be better off checking for sugar content. That is the stuff that will truly do damage to our bodies.

      Never mind flouride, Vitamin B9, etc – it’s sugar that is the real killer. It is causing a massive pandemic in diabetes, heart disease, and f**k knows what else.

      And the worst thing? Those white granules are so damned addictive. I know I should cut down. My doctor has warned me. I could stand a heart attack or losing digits. But a stroke is what I fear the worst. That would turn me into a vegetable.

      It’s probably the worst threat to our health since tobacco was introduced to Western society.

      Check out the ingredients in products at the supermarket. Even where sugar is listed as number two or three on the lists, if you add “sugar”, “sucrose”, etc, together, it is the main ingredient.

      I guess it’s not so trendy to talk about sugar, when flouride or folic acid are sexier fright-night subjects.

      But if you really want to focus on health issues – sugar. It’s addictive. And it kills.

      And very very few medical professionals or scientists will disagree with that.

      • bloodyhell says:

        The other half of our equation is diabetic, sugar among other things has been off the menu for many years.

        Daniel fluoride may not be medication, but I thought mass medicating sounded better than mass doping.

        • Daniel Ryan says:

          “Daniel fluoride may not be medication, but I thought mass medicating sounded better than mass doping.”
          Or you could call it a mass benefit(which it is)? But it seems you like using scare tactics.

          • bloodyhell says:

            What scaremongering?

            I have made no claim to the efficacy or not of fluoride.

            My only point has been no Government Central or Local should have a hand in adding ANY vitamins or minerals into the water or food supply.

            • D'Esterre says:

              @ Bloodyhell: “My only point has been no Government Central or Local should have a hand in adding ANY vitamins or minerals into the water or food supply.”

              So I’m guessing that you won’t be a fan of the chlorination that keeps your water supply safe to drink?

              And you’d object to the iodisation of salt, which helps keep cretinism and other thyroid disease at bay, then?

              • bloodyhell says:

                You are correct on both counts 🙂

                I am not opposed to supplements, just Government administering them via water and food supplies.

                If you want to take them, go ahead, just don’t expect those around you who have no need for them to be dosed up as well.

                • You are correct on both counts.

                  And people wonder why I switch the labels around.
                  It’s the same thinking. The same rationalizations.

                  If you can go oogity-boogity about flouride then you can oogity that same boogity about chlorine.

                  Cholera. Typhoid. Dysentry.
                  Not just pretty words.

                  • Danyl Strype says:

                    This is a classic black/white fallacy. You can drink toxic chlorine or toxic bacteria. Choose. Perhaps there are other methods for testing water for harmful bacteria, and removing them (eg UV treatment), which are actually better for people’s overall health than dumping trainloads of industrial chemicals into our water supply?

                    In Dunedin, where I live, there is so much chlorine in the water that it gives me excsma. I regularly travel elsewhere for a month or more, and each time I do, the excsma clears up. This is presumably from showering in it, although goodness knows what it’s doing to people’s guts when they drink it.

                    • Perhaps there are other methods…

                      “Perhaps” a lot of things.
                      (shrug)

                      ….which are actually better for people’s overall health than dumping trainloads of industrial chemicals into our water supply?

                      Wait. Are you talking about flouride again or are you now talking about chlorine?
                      Or….perhaps both?
                      The argument sounds oddly familiar.

  11. John, you’ve made a terrible hash of things.
    Reading your article is exactly like reading a climate denier.
    Only the topic is different.
    The methodology you explain to get to where you are on flouride is identical to all the others. Bad sign.

    This is a re-post of what I said over at the “Open Parachute” blog.

    Five years ago I was a passive supporter of fluoridation of drinking water because I accepted the word of public health officials that fluoridation helped reduce dental decay and improve dental health for us all.

    Accepted the “word”? Funny way to put it.
    Minto seems to think that those in public health just say stuff and we meekly accept it. That’s not what happens. Medical communities don’t get to just make an announcement from on high. They’re not priests. There’s work involved. Actual scientific work. It’s not possible to create a scientific consensus or overturn a scientific consensus any other way. There are no short-cuts.

    “Five years ago I was a passive supporter of evolution because I accepted the word of scientists that evolution worked.”
    “Five years ago I was a passive supporter of the moon landings because I accepted the word of NASA officials that they really went there.”

    See the problem?

    Although I’d never studied the issue I have a background in science and I would have agreed with last year’s statement from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Peter Gluckman who said the science was “settled” in favour of fluoridating water supplies.

    Fair enough but there’s lots and lots and lots of issues Minto has probably never studied. Life is short. How much effort has Minto poured into investigating 9/11 or the Heliocentric Theory or cell phones giving you cancer?

    However since then, and more by accident than design, I’ve taken some time to look at the science for and against fluoridation and I’ve changed my position.

    And herein lies the problem. Minto has looked at the science, ladies and gentlemen, and has found it wanting. Oh, the horror!
    Minto has managed to convince himself that he’s found “them” out.
    Just like he could have found “them” out on any other crackpot issue out there bouncing around on the internet.
    It never occurs to Minto that he could possibly be wrong.

    There’s are is a mounting body of scientific evidence which…

    No there isn’t.

    It’s possible to independently verify these things. Papers get published. New data is constantly being gathered on all sorts of things. If you personally feel that you see something clearly that “they” don’t, then you have to consider the very real possibility that you are fooling yourself.
    You have to use a methodology that doesn’t potentially lead you down the garden path of confirmation bias and conspiracy mongering.

    If you are right about the moon landings being faked or vaccines causing autism and there’s a “mounting body of evidence” then…what’s the mechanism?
    How come “they” aren’t way ahead of you? Is there a cover up? Fraud? Negligence on a global scale? A scientific elite blah, blah, blah?

    On Tuesday night this week I went to hear Emeritus Professor of Chemistry Paul Connett speak…

    Methodology.
    Why should you or anybody else care what Connett has to say?
    Are you going to merrily trip off to listen to Kaysing or Wakefield or Duesberg next?
    Derp.

    I was fascinated to hear Connett speak…

    I’m sure he was riveting. Very charismatic. Ken Ham can be a real charmer too. Yet not once did you question whether turning your back on the scientific community in favour of this Connett person was a good idea or not. Why trust him? Why let his patter convince you?

    In science, only the work counts. All the fireside chats in the world don’t amount to a hill of beans. It’s not the speaking tours nor the vanity press books nor the blog articles.
    It’s the work.

    Eight years into the study correspondence shows the researchers were unable to… blah, blah, blah.

    Yes, Connett gave you some anomoly or other and you swallowed it.
    Could have been a graph or a grainy photo of the Eagle lander or an email or something else.
    By appealing to your ego, he’s made you turn away from the scientific consensus. After all, how could you be fooled? You’re too smart for that, right? You’d never make the mistake that other people exactly like yourself have made on so many other issues.
    After all, you have a background in science. That’s an ironclad guarantee that you can’t be suckered by a snake-oil salesman.
    Derp.

    I’m not suggesting this is a science end point but should be an urgent spur to higher quality studies to confirm/adjust/reject these findings.

    Yes, you are the stalwart saviour. “They” have dropped the ball and you can see it clearly now. Fortunately, you are there to spur “them” into doing their job. Shame on “them”.
    All of the relevant medical communities on the planet failed.
    Only you (with the help of Connett) see the awful trooth.
    You never entertain the idea that perhaps you’ve been conned.

    This is serious stuff. It is not the stuff of “flat-earthers” or climate-science deniers.

    Really? Then what exactly is it that you are doing that is so very different from the flat earthers and the climate science deniers?
    How is your methodology different from theirs?

    You went to a talk by Connett.
    They go to a talk by Monckton.
    Same diff.
    Connett reveals the awful trooth about anomoly “X”.
    Monckton reveals the awful trooth about anomoly “Y”.
    Same diff.
    You now turn your back on the scientific consensus in favour of some guy with a blog.
    Job done.

    Everything you’ve said is taken from the concerned crackpot handbook.
    Behold…

    “….to dismiss critical studies of vaccines and claim the science is “settled” in favour of vaccines when a dispassionate look at the evidence raises lots of important and worrying questions. The science is changing. For example there are now studies which show HIV infections are greater when it is treated with conventional medicines compared to natural remedies. Doesn’t the science here warrant greater examination of alternatives to conventional treatments?
    So why have NASA officials overstated the reality of the moon landings and poured scorn on those that see serious problems? Dr Kaysing was asked this and said the only thing he could suggest was that these officials are worried that if they “lose” the moonlanding battle then issues such as global warming would come under much closer scrutiny.

    Ken Ham described the late Immanuel Velikovsky as one of science’s heroes. Velikovsky initially supported evolution only to move strongly against it after undertaking in-depth research which examined the evidence in America and overseas and found it unconvincing. Velikovsky spoke out against evolution when it was even less popular to do so than it is now. But things are changing. It was good to hear from one doctor at the meeting who spoke publicly against banning smoking in hospitals and also good to hear of the large number of others who oppose it in private.
    I no longer think the science is “settled”.”

    • David Hodges says:

      As Dr. Connett said “we should celebrate the vicious personal attacks on us because they are a clear sign that our opponents are unable to refute our arguments”. You didn’t deal with a single fact or statistic regarding fluoridation in your long post. It was merely a long string of personal attacks and analogies to unrelated issues.

      • You didn’t deal with a single fact or statistic…

        You don’t get this whole “how is your methodology different from theirs” part.
        Science denial is always same. Only the labels change.
        Perhaps another few fresh examples will help:

        “As Dr. Wakefiedl said “we should celebrate the vicious personal attacks on us because they are a clear sign that our opponents are unable to refute our arguments”. You didn’t deal with a single fact or statistic regarding vaccination in your long post. It was merely a long string of personal attacks and analogies to unrelated issues.”

        “As Prof Singer said “we should celebrate the vicious personal attacks on us because they are a clear sign that our opponents are unable to refute our arguments”. You didn’t deal with a single fact or statistic regarding the fraud of global warming in your long post. It was merely a long string of personal attacks and analogies to unrelated issues”

        As Ken Ham said “we should celebrate the vicious personal attacks on us because they are a clear sign that our opponents are unable to refute our arguments”. You didn’t deal with a single fact or statistic regarding evolution in your long post. It was merely a long string of personal attacks and analogies to unrelated issues.”

      • Rosalind says:

        Dr Connett uses vicious personal attacks himself. He screamed at a friend of mine, who happens to be a devoted mother ‘You just want to poison children!’
        I guess that just proves, by his own logic, that he couldn’t refute her arguments. Since she works for the Ministry of Health, that’s interesting, isn’t it?

        • Hayden says:

          Really? What was her “argument” specifically?

          • Rosalind says:

            Her argument is that fluoridation of water in New Zealand is safe and beneficial.

            • Hayden says:

              Rosalind, I mean the wording of her argument exactly.
              Further, if she thinks she’s a devoted mother, she’s entitled to foolishly administer a cumulative poison to her own children, but to think it’s ok to administer it to other peoples children without their consent is arrogant, ignorant, and horrendously misguided.

        • Danyl Strype says:

          I’ve seen this claim made by Ken Perrot in his debate with Connett. It seems to be one of the key messages of the pro-fluoride PR campaign. Do either of you happen to have any evidence that Professor Connett said this?

          Even if he did though, two wrongs don’t make a right, and it doesn’t justify argumentum-ad-hominem attacks on the part of pro-fluoridationists.

          • Even if he did though, two wrongs don’t make a right, and it doesn’t justify argumentum-ad-hominem attacks on the part of pro-fluoridationists.

            What ad hominem attacks?
            Can you actually quote anybody? Or is this just vague handwaving on your part?

  12. cassie blake says:

    I shake my head at anyone who trusts info on Govt websites, or trusts govt appointed “experts”.

    1) RE the “fluoridation” info on the govt website : WHY is there a DISCLAIMER hidden away where most people don’t bother to look? Answer= to protect themselves against litigation, because they know the info is UNRELIABLE!

    2) As for Peter Gluckman, since when does a PM need a “Chief Science Advisor’- to DICTATE to the public that “the science is settled” – when it is NOT?
    True Science does NOT cease to ask questions, and there are TOO many unanswered questions in this debate, especially in the light of new information.

    3) WHY has even Israel recently joined other countries & quit water fluoridation, citing negative health effects as the reason?

    Seriously..
    People who are too lazy to think for yourselves, study the newest information/ facts, engage in some critical thinking and it will start to dawn that fluoridation of public water supplies is a massive fraud and that the actual stuff they use is NOT the same as “naturally occurring” fluoride.
    In these days of massive pollution & cancer being an epidemic, (ie 1 in 4 people) should we allow our drinking water supplies be polluted with what is now elsewhere scientifically recognised as a “systemic toxin”?
    http://www.fannz.org.nz/

    • I shake my head at anyone who trusts info on Govt websites, or trusts govt appointed “experts”.

      It’s not the gubbiment, you simpleton.
      It’s the scientific consensus.
      Spot the difference.
      A scientific consensus doesn’t magically disappear just because you choose to label it with the big, bad, spooky-wooky government.
      In science, only the work counts.

      Conspiracy thinking is for suckers.
      There’s no mechanism to make it work.
      Name a single scientific community on the planet that rejects the scientific consensus on water fluoridation.

      (…crickets chirping….)

      “Seriously..
      People who are too lazy to think for yourselves, study the newest information/ facts, engage in some critical thinking and it will start to dawn that the moon landings is a massive fraud and that the footage they used is NOT the the real thing. In these days of Watergate and troops in Vietnam should we allow our government to lie to us about landing on the moon.?”

      Science denial: only the labels change.

    • Daniel Ryan says:

      “I shake my head at anyone who trusts info on Govt websites, or trusts govt appointed “experts”.”
      When I talk about trusting the experts, I’m talking about the whole of the scientific community.

      “WHY is there a DISCLAIMER hidden away”
      It is on the MOH site too, nothing to do with fluoridation.

      “to DICTATE to the public that “the science is settled” – when it is NOT?f”
      You are missing the keyword effectively.

      “when it is NOT”
      All major health organisations might say you are incorrect. But please show me one that is against fluoridation.

      “WHY has even Israel recently joined other countries & quit water fluoridation, citing negative health effects as the reason?
      Why are you making up misinformation?
      Neither have they quitted fluoridation, they have shown fluoridation to be very effective.
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=655804924457855

      “People who are too lazy to think for yourselves, study the newest information/ facts”
      Right back at you. You should never trust FANNZ. Instead I suggest actually looking up science on Google Scholar.

      “actual stuff they use is NOT the same as “naturally occurring” fluoride.”
      That doesn’t matter, it comes out the same from your tap.
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=599838393387842

      “cancer being an epidemic”
      I suggest you look at this page: http://www.howdoesfluoridecausecancer.com

    • D'Esterre says:

      @ Cassie Blake: I’m afraid that you’re talking bollix. Really.

    • Rosalind says:

      Fluoride is not a toxin. A toxin is a poison synthesized by a living organism. Nicotine is a toxin, snake venom is a toxin, Botulinum A is a toxin. Fluoride is NOT a toxin. It is an inorganic anion.

    • Rosalind says:

      Also, Cassie, the age-adjusted incidence of new cases of almost all cancers is falling, and has been for a few decades now. The only reason that cancer appears common these days is that it is principally a disease of older people, and more and more people are living long enough to develop it.
      Of the very few cancers that are increasing in incidence, the cause is generally known. For example lung cancer, which is caused by smoking, cervical cancer, which is an STD, and malignant melanoma, which is caused by too much UV exposure.
      In addition, the death rate of almost all cancers is also falling.
      There is no epidemic of cancer. Your chance of getting cancer, provided you avoid high-risk activities, is falling and your chance of surviving it has never been better.

    • peter says:

      Cassie you got it all, right. It’s government policy to push fluoridation and when it’s a policy it becomes a sort of divine bullshit command! Incidentally want to get my moneys worth in here. Forget trying to treat the symptoms! There are screeds of web sites now where we are being retrained (correctly) if we are prepared to be, in all areas of our lives but especially in health to treat the causes not the symptoms. The latter is nothing but a waste of time. No matter what the science says, one can spend months or even years arguing the science of fluoridation. If we were all as Western Price discovered in the 1930’s like the Maori before the arrival of Europeans with sugar and flour we would all have amazing teeth. After the arrival of sugar and flour it was a steep downhill ride for Maori! Prior to that according to Western Price, arguably New Zealand Maori had the best teeth in the World. The cause is so so obvious. Remove the cause and the symptoms have had the best treatment that is humanly possible!

  13. […] The Daily Blog, John Minto has raised a storm with his post, The science is not “settled” on the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies. Personally, I think John is 100% wrong on […]

  14. Clint Griess says:

    Thank you, John Minto, for some sanity. I stand by the Precautionary Principle. None of the science proves beyond a doubt that no one will be harmed by ingesting fluoride. I can not support a policy unless it has been demonstrated conclusively that no one, particularly the many vulnerable among us, will not suffer harm of any kind. When it comes to toxicology, one size does not fit all.

    • Dan Germouse says:

      Forced-fluoridation is not one size fits all, it’s any size fits anybody. In other words, people receive random and highly variable doses, not the same dose.

    • Rosalind says:

      As a double Board-certified toxicologist myself, I can tell that you do not understand toxicology, Dan Germouse. In fact, for any and all poisons, a threshold can be found below which nobody will suffer any toxic effects. That’s even true for genotoxic carcinogens, although we model those as if it is not true.
      so anyway, what are your qualifications and experience in toxicology?

  15. Luke Duane Oldfield says:

    John,

    Throughout your article and perhaps unintentionally you’ve misquoted Dr Gluckman. It is of concern to individuals like myself that this rampant misquoting has become an effective tool of anti-fluoridationists as Gluckman’s remarks were also misquoted by an audience member during Prof. Connett’s Auckland presentation.

    Dr Gluckman actually said that “The science of fluoride in water is *effectively* settled” and i would be inclined to agree with Dr Gluckman the science is effectively settled despite the cherry picking and double speak of Prof. Connett regarding IQ or Osteosarcoma.

    Now i wouldn’t want to jump to any conclusions here but it appears that when quoting Dr Gluckman and moulding your own viewpoint you’re relying on erroneous reports from the mainstream media or the hearsay of others during a town hall style meeting, now wouldn’t that be ironic!

    • Hayden says:

      Oh hi, it’s our pet troll. You didn’t ask any questions at the meeting on the 4th. I was hoping you might break free from your stupid religion. We’ve still not heard “the case for fluoride” from you. Just trolling. Are you hoping to get into some kind of DHB role that requires proof that you’re a sociopath?

      • Rosalind says:

        Hayden, please desist from using ad hominem attacks.

        • Hayden says:

          Hi Rosalind, I’m sorry that you misinterpreted this short paragraph RE Oldfield. I’m not here for ad hominem attacks. Unfortunately we have people here like Oldfield who have never made a case for fluoride, and do not have the capability to do so. Their modus operandi is simply to troll as much as possible for “lols”. Oldfield is a waste of time and space. He has never offered anything useful to this discussion.

          • Chris says:

            I fail to see how Rosalind has misinterpreted your paragraph, Hayden.

            I mean, “ad hominem” seems a pretty polite term for an argument which consists of likening Luke to a troll, a religious zealot and a sociopath.

            • Hayden says:

              Thanks Chris. You may like to note that an “argumentum ad hominem” only applies when diverting from an actual argument to attack the person’s character or credentials. The fluoride pushers do this frequently. What I wrote was not ad hominem, because Oldfield had not attempted to present any kind of valid case for fluoride. There was no actual argument to divert from. I was simply making an honest observation.

              • Luke Duane Oldfield says:

                Hayden, it’s not my responsibility to present the case for water fluoridation, that’s something better left to the experts who have published their own research highlighting the safety and efficacy of CWF. These experts add to the weight of scientific consensus when the produce papers that align with the existing data we have for fluoridation.

                I know you’ve had difficulties comprehending this over the past 6 months so i hope this acts as a reassurance that i personally won’t be involved in ‘making cases’ that i’m unqualified to make.

                I’m an advocate for science based public policy in the provision of Health care in New Zealand and as such i have occasionally used my own critical thinking skills to point out some of the misinformation being peddled by certain anti-fluoridationists. Rest assured i spend similar amounts of time picking through the other nonsense arguments of anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers.

              • Chris says:

                Ah, so you’re arguing that you are engaging in verbal abuse, rather than ad hominem attacks.

                I can’t say I agree with your interpretation of events, but let’s be clear that verbal abuse isn’t exactly an admirable trait either.

  16. Clint Griess says:

    To those who oppose adding fluoridation chemicals to our community water, we must learn to discipline ourselves and not take the bait from trolls*. I personally have exhausted myself in the battle with pro-fluoridationists. When we try to debate them, we waste precious time and energy that would be better spent on ending fluoridation. That’s exactly what they want. It’s really a great use of their money to hire a few people to keeps us arguing as it squanders our creativity. I have learned the hard way, and I hope we can undo their attempts to slow us down in this way by simply ignoring them.

    Troll = One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

    • Richard Christie says:

      Translation:

      Deliberately provocative message = 1) a message that represents the worldwide scientific and health community’s consensus on public water fluoridation. 2) Message that challenges that fed by poster-boy scientists (e.g. Connett), no-name advocacy blogs and non-peer reviewed junk science.

      That’s the spirit.

  17. corokia says:

    John, I am a dentist with nearly 30 years experience. Right now there will be over a million NZers with untreated decay because they haven’t a hope of affording treatment. There is no decent state funded (or subsidised) care for adults. We have a huge problem on the horizon with baby boomers who have their own teeth about to retire on fixed incomes. Fizzy is cheaper than milk. If you take fluoride out of the water it isn’t going to help anyone who has sore teeth already, it will only make the problem worse. People need dental care, hearing aids and glasses and they can’t afford them. These are quality of life issues.

    • Hayden says:

      Firstly, ingested fluoride has a negligible effect, or no effect on tooth decay. Secondly, your “Target market” don’t drink the water supply anyway, they’re chugging down coca cola. Third. The claim that there’s so much decay is an anecdotal report that water fluoridation is a complete waste of time and money anyway. Wake up, this is staring you in the face and you still don’t get it. Subsidised or “free” regular dental check-ups (at least once a year) would actually work.

    • “Right now there will be over a million NZers with untreated decay because they haven’t a hope of affording treatment. There is no decent state funded (or subsidised) care for adults.”

      Indeed.

      This was actually a predicted consequence by Jim Anderton, in the 1990s, as more user-pays was implemented in tertiary education. He quite correctly foresaw the day when dental fees would rise to pay for dentistry training student debt, and many would be unable to afford those higher charges.

      After seven tax cuts; more user pays; this is the consequence we’re faced with.

      Which is not to blame dentists (unless they are foolish enough to vote for this kind of thing), as they’re a victim of the system like the rest of us.

      So is flouridation a solution?

      For developing teeth, yes, it is according to evidence.

      For the user-pays system we’re now in? Nope. This country got what it voted for in the late ’80s and 1990s.

      • Lissa says:

        “Critical review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating agents of drinking water”, a report by SCHER (Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks) of the European Commission 2011 opinion states:

        Mechanism of fluoride action in caries prevention

        Fluoride treatment regimens have been developed to prevent dental caries. Systemic fluoride is easily absorbed and is taken up into the enamel during the period of pre- eruptive tooth formation.

        The predominant beneficial cariostatic effects of fluoride in erupted teeth occur locally at the tooth surface (topically). This could be achieved by fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride-containing water, fluoridated salt, etc. maintaining elevated intra- oral fluoride levels of the teeth, dental biofilm and saliva throughout the day.

        Dental health and fluoridation

        Figure 2 indicates that independent of the fluoridation policies across the EU Member States, there has been a consistent decline over time in tooth decay in 12 year old children from the mid-1970s, REGARDLESS of whether drinking water, milk or salt are fluoridated.

        Figure 2 – Trends in tooth decay in 12 year olds in European Union countries (from Cheng et al. 2007).

        A vast number of clinical studies have confirmed that topical fluoride treatment in the form of fluoridated toothpaste has a significant cariostatic effect. Other preventive regimens include fluoride supplement and fluoridated salt given during the period of tooth formation.

        In the 1970s, fluoridation of community drinking water, aimed at a particular section of the population, namely children, was a crude but useful public health measure of systemic fluoride treatment.

        However, the caries preventive effect of systemic fluoride treatment is rather poor (Ismael and Hasson 2008).

        In countries not using water fluoridation, improved dental health can be interpreted as the result of the introduction of topical fluoride preventive treatment (fluoridated toothpaste or mouth rinse, or fluoride treatments within the dental clinic).

        Other preventive regimens include fluoride supplements, fluoridated salt, improved oral hygiene, changes in nutrition or care system practices, or any change that may result from improved wealth and education in these countries.

        This suggests that water fluoridation plays a relatively minor role in the improvement of dental health.
        _____________________________________

        Tax payers dollars would be better spent in a yearly dental visit program. Fluoridation is not the cheapest and most effective treatment for the prevention of tooth decay. And since it only works on pre-eruptive teeth, the only people who should be drinking it is children (though I dont think they should as the long term effects have not been studied)

        • Richard Christie says:

          From the same article p2

          The opinions of the Scientific Committees present the views of the independent scientists
          who are members of the committees. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the
          European Commission. The opinions are published by the European Commission in their
          original language only.

          You weren’t attempting to pass off this opinion piece from a single person as something more than just that, were you, Lissa?

          Of course not. You know that it’s not peer reviewed literature.

          • You weren’t attempting to pass off this opinion piece from a single person as something more than just that, were you, Lissa?

            Of course she wasn’t, Richard. ‘Cause that would be very slimy and dishonest. Perish the thought. It was just an oversight, I’m sure.

  18. Mischele R says:

    Thanks John for taking the time to write this article and having the integrity to look further into water fluoridation and saying you have changed your position on this issue.

    To the people giving you a hard time I say go and do some more home work. The evidence of fluoridation causing harm is mounting- case in point is Declan Waugh in Ireland’s findings.

    Read Prof. Paul Connett’s book “The Case Against Fluoride-How a Hazardous Toxic Waste Ended Up in Drinking Water and The Powerful Politics and Bad Science That Keep It There”. There are 97 pages of references and studies in this book which are unrefuted to this day (some 3-4 years later). This speaks for itself.

    Also a factual account is “The Fluoride Deception” by Christopher Bryson -an investigative journalist who spent 10 years of his life researching USA governmental files on the subject.

    Who in their right mind would want to drink a cumulative poison; a hazardous toxic waste that comes with lead, cadmium, arsenic etc – yes we are fed NON-pharmaceutical grade hazardous toxic waste hydrofluorosilicic acid ?

    The elephant in the room are our people and especially children with fluorosis -mottled teeth- and most likely means damage to their bones and other fragile tissues in the body -fluoride is an indiscriminate enzyme poisoner. Bottle-fed babies, kidney patients and those with poor immune function are most at risk. No filter will extract 100% of this “acid” out – there is no escape for those wishing to avoid it if you live in a fluoridated area.

    I don’t see health officials clambering to help my 16 & 22 year old boys born and bred in fluoridated Hamilton with their fluorosis or a remedy for them.

    In essence I feel our health authorites have failed miserably – conducting no safety studies on fluoridation in this country and nor do they have funding to do this. They need to swallow their egoes and change their draconian fluoridation policy so people may have a chance to lead a healthy life. New Zealand lacks minerals in our soils and especially selenium and therefore people are deficient and so their tooth and overall health is – join the dots and follow the money folks !!

  19. corokia says:

    Why does anyone believe there is a conspiracy amongst dentists to promote fluoride? What the hell does anyone think we’d get out of it? Isn’t less decay bad for our business?

    • Mischele R says:

      I wish more dentists would do further research apart from the propaganda you are taught at Dental School re: fluoridation.

      I know plenty of dentists who do not favour water fluoridation and have said it is all about diet and reducing “sugar”, fruit drinks etc – that is what your message should be to patients.

      New Zealand society is always too slow to realise we are behind the times in ceasing to use to a whole host of poisons, pharmaceutical drugs, 1080, hydrofluosilicic acid, 245T, 24D, etc when the rest of the world has stopped. We are consistently betrayed by our so-called authorities in this manner.

      • corokia says:

        I was not taught ‘propaganda’ at dental school. It was evidence based dentistry. Dunedin has had fluoridation since the 60s, so according to the anti brigade Dunedinites are 5 IQ points down, yeah right. People from Mosgiel, which doesn’t have fluoride, do have worse teeth though.

    • Dan Germouse says:

      You make money from treating dental fluorosis.

      • corokia says:

        No Dan.
        There is not much dental fluorosis out there. I see very occasional mottling on the enamel surface of some teeth, but the enamel is hard and does not need any form of treatment.

        IF people could afford the treatment, dentists would make more money if fluoride was taken out of water supplies, yet dentists are painted by people like you as being part of a conspiracy to poison people- go figure.

  20. cassie blake says:

    As an aside, re “flat earthers”. This originates from a time in history when the view that the earth was flat was the prevailing view.

    Thus “flat earthers” represent the GENERAL MAJORITY of any given time.
    ie in the context of pro fluoride vs anti fluoride, it would be the former who are the “flat earthers”..ie still hold onto a widely held popular belief.

    It’s also worth pointing out that in any given population , those who possess above average critical thinking skills and sound reasoning powers are always in the minority.

    • D'Esterre says:

      @ Cassie Blake: “It’s also worth pointing out that in any given population , those who possess above average critical thinking skills and sound reasoning powers are always in the minority.”

      So, nothing to do with water fluoridation causing a fall in IQ then.

  21. Kane says:

    Thank you John for being willing to take an openminded approach to a topic that has been closed for far too long.

    Those of us that want to end fluoridation in Auckland and New Zealand are more than willing to follow the process to have a fair hearing. The call that there is no debate is ludicrous given half of the population does not swallow fluoride, only 22 of 67 councils fluoridate their water supply and 97% of Europe is not fluoridated.

    It has been 20 years since the last review in Auckland. The North Shore City Council. 1993/94. You have to wonder if the science is settled why those that want to force medicate others can’t show us that it is safe and effective. We are ready to hear their arguments out in the open.

    • Kane – do you consider water that is chlorinated to be “medicated”? Because I don’t.

      • Hayden says:

        Frank, fluoride is the only substance added to water to medically treat people. The purpose of chlorine is to sanitise the water and make it safe to drink. There is a big difference. Also chlorine will evaporate off the water when in an open container for a period of time, however fluoride is extremely difficult to remove.

        • Chlorine is a toxin. It’s even used in chemical weapons.
          Do you want them putting chemical weapons in your helpless babies water!!!1!!1!11

          “I stand by the Precautionary Principle. None of the science proves beyond a doubt that no one will be harmed by ingesting chlorine. I can not support a policy unless it has been demonstrated conclusively that no one, particularly the many vulnerable among us, will not suffer harm of any kind. When it comes to toxicology, one size does not fit all.”

          “To those who oppose adding chlorine chemicals to our community water, we must learn to discipline ourselves and not take the bait from trolls*. I personally have exhausted myself in the battle with pro-chlorinists. When we try to debate them, we waste precious time and energy that would be better spent on ending chlorination. That’s exactly what they want. It’s really a great use of their money to hire a few people to keeps us arguing as it squanders our creativity. I have learned the hard way, and I hope we can undo their attempts to slow us down in this way by simply ignoring them.”

        • Oh, Hayden, thanks for the response.

          I’m still unsure what difference there is between adding flouride or chlorine to our water is. Both are toxic in higher quantities, but both are useful in smaller measures. (In fact, chlorine gas was weaponised and used in WW1!)

          It’s not the toxicity that matters (in this instance) but the levels we use it at.

          We ingest minute quantities of flourine/flouride naturally anyway, as part of our bone growth. (I can cite if anyone is interested.)

    • D'Esterre says:

      @ Kane: fluoride is a trace element. It doesn’t cure anything, unlike medicine. Fluoride strengthens teeth against the ravages of oral acids produced as a by-product of the digestion of carbohydrates – especially sugar – in the mouth.

      You do know, don’t you, that even if Councils stopped adding fluoride to water, there’d still be fluoride in it? It’s just that levels would revert to what they were before fluoridation began: too low to be efficaceous in the prevention of tooth decay, but still there nonetheless.

    • D'Esterre says:

      @ Kane: “Thank you John for being willing to take an openminded approach to a topic that has been closed for far too long.”

      I went to my first public meeting on water fluoridation almost 50 years ago; much the same objections to it were being raised then, with the added spice of some objectors asserting that it was a Commie plot. You are completely wrong to claim that the topic has been closed. It hasn’t. Ever.

  22. I am pleased to hear that you have given this debate well deserved investigation, John. There are two sides to each story, and naturally neither side would like to discover they are incorrect in their stances.

    I am anti-fluoride because logically that is a sound position on science that has not been settled. It violates the right to choose, it is costly, the research is unsettled and contradictory in nature, and the purported benefits do not outweigh the very valid potential risks. I do not believe as many anti-fluoride types do that there is a hidden agenda or deliberately misleading scientists and dentists/doctors in favour of supporting something they truly believe is good for the public. I am of the simple belief that they wish the best for their communities, and unfortunately stand behind science and studies that have been inconclusive, misleading and just plain wrong.

    Pro and anti both essentially want the same thing – healthier oral health – but fluoridation of the water supply is unfortunately a contentious and incorrect method of doing so.

    • Ken says:

      Logan, why do you consider the scientific assessments are wrong?? Do you know something the scientific community doesn’t?

      • Ken, there are not singular studies that refute a stack of pro-fluoride evidence, but there is a consistent level of support for both sides. I’ve no way of saying either side could profiteer from given studies, so I am inclined to think as you noted before, that the science isn’t settled. In the meantime, until the science is teeming on either end as ‘unanimous’, we should opt for safety and eagerly await further scientific consensus on the issue. I feel this is a fair and reasonable position to hold – hypotheses with consistent and unmarred results should be our yardstick for anything as insidious as fluoridation to be tested against.

        • Richard Christie says:

          Logan, this is your argument:

          Ken, there are not singular studies that refute a stack of global warming evidence, but there is a consistent level of support for both sides. I’ve no way of saying either side could profiteer from given studies, so I am inclined to think as you noted before, that the science isn’t settled. In the meantime, until the science is teeming on either end as ‘unanimous’, we should opt for safety and eagerly await further scientific consensus on the issue. I feel this is a fair and reasonable position to hold – hypotheses with consistent and unmarred results should be our yardstick for anything as insidious as curbing CO2 emissions to be tested against.

          Ken, there are not singular studies that refute a stack of pro-evolution theory evidence, but there is a consistent level of support for both sides. I’ve no way of saying either side could profiteer from given studies, so I am inclined to think as you noted before, that the science isn’t settled. In the meantime, until the science is teeming on either end as ‘unanimous’, we should opt for safety and eagerly await further scientific consensus on the issue. I feel this is a fair and reasonable position to hold – hypotheses with consistent and unmarred results should be our yardstick for anything as insidious as abandoning the guy in the sky done it to be tested against.

          Ken, there are not singular studies that refute a stack of pro-vaccination evidence, but there is a consistent level of support for both sides. I’ve no way of saying either side could profiteer from given studies, so I am inclined to think as you noted before, that the science isn’t settled. In the meantime, until the science is teeming on either end as ‘unanimous’, we should opt for safety and eagerly await further scientific consensus on the issue. I feel this is a fair and reasonable position to hold – hypotheses with consistent and unmarred results should be our yardstick for anything as insidious as vaccinating our children to be tested against.

        • Ken says:

          Well, Logan, you need a preacher – not a scientist.

          In the meantime the rest of us will just go with the current consensus (recognising that unanimity is utopian) keeping an eye out, as always, for possible furture probems.

          That is how we make porgress. And don’t forget the human misery caused by satnbding back and waiting for a perfect answer.

          We didnt get where we are today by being so irresponsible.

    • “I am pleased to hear that you have given this debate well deserved investigation, John. There are two sides to each story, and naturally neither side would like to discover they are incorrect in their stances. I am against draconian laws against smoking because logically that is a sound position on science that has not been settled. It violates the right to choose, it is costly, the research is unsettled and contradictory in nature, and the purported benefits do not outweigh the very valid potential risks. I do not believe as many anti-smoking law types do that there is a hidden agenda or deliberately misleading scientists and dentists/doctors in favour of supporting something they truly believe is good for the public. I am of the simple belief that they wish the best for their communities, and unfortunately stand behind science and studies that have been inconclusive, misleading and just plain wrong. Pro and anti smoking both essentially want the same thing – healthier public health – but laws taking away individual liberties of adults to enjoy the full, rich flavour of toasted tobacco where ever they see fit is unfortunately a contentious and incorrect method of doing so.”

      tobacco_papers

  23. Mary Byrne says:

    Thanks John for adding your voice to this issue. I am sure this article will encourage many more New Zealanders to think twice about fluoridation and find out the facts for themselves. Most people, once they know the facts, are against fluoridation, but unfortunately, most people, have not realised there is a serious problem and are happy enough to trust the so-called authorities. I think this article will really help push the issue into the consciousness of the general public.

    • Daniel Ryan says:

      So you saying John shouldn’t trust the Ministry of Health? Who should he trust?

    • “Thanks John for adding your voice to this issue. I am sure this article will encourage many more New Zealanders to think twice about vaccines and find out the facts for themselves. Most people, once they know the facts, are against vaccines, but unfortunately, most people, have not realised there is a serious problem and are happy enough to trust the so-called authorities. I think this article will really help push the issue into the consciousness of the general public.”

      It’s uncanny.

  24. Joe says:

    Wow, some serious scattergun mobbing by the pro-fluoride lobby, “the fluoridators”!

    Note the fluoridators’ version of science — science as wishful thinking. Seemed to start out as a private prayer: “Please Lord, let fluoride be a nutrient. We so, so want fluoride to be a nutrient.” Then… Let’s just call it a nutrient. Yeah, “the fluoride nutrient”. And if we repeat that often enough everyone will think it’s a nutrient. Hey presto, fluoride is a nutrient, everyone knows that. And then people will think that everyone needs it, and then… Just add it to the water supply. Job done. Victory for wishful thinking over science and reason.

    So every member of the population is dosed with unmeasured amounts of a deadly, cumulative poison; all day, every day, for the rest of their lives.

    The fluoridators are not just champions of wishful thinking, they’re champions of being in denial. In denial about what? About reality! In particular:
    * Fluoride is not a nutrient of any sort, not a micronutrient, not an essential trace element. Just a poison. (Beneficial trace element? You might as well say nitric acid is beneficial: You can rinse your mouth with it and it’ll kill the cariogenic bacteria; so, beneficial!)
    * Nobody needs fluoride, ever!
    * The last place you should put fluoride is in your mouth.
    * The cause of tooth decay is sugar. (What could be simpler?)
    * Fluoridation is completely unscientific.
    * The reduction in children’s tooth decay seen when a population is fluoridated can be attributed to delayed eruption caused by fluoride poisoning.
    * Fluoridation is contrary to medical principles and ethics.
    * Fluoridation is a fascist measure.
    * Fluoridation is a conspiracy (as described very clearly in Christopher Bryson’s book).
    * All the “systematic reviews” were biased in favour of fluoridation. However, the most thorough of them, UK’s York Review, could find no high-quality science supporting fluoridation; so the fluoridators avoid mentioning it.

    What weird people these fluoridators are! And here’s one more weird thing about them: They got fluoride in all the toothpaste. They want fluoride in all the water. If they cannot get it in there, they want fluoride in all the table salt. If they cannot get it in there they want fluoride in the milk! And so on. But sugar? NO, never. They never want fluoride in the sugar. What? But, but, isn’t sugar the cause of tooth decay? Why not in the sugar? Thereby hangs a tale…

    • Daniel Ryan says:

      “Wow, some serious scattergun mobbing by the pro-fluoride lobby”
      I don’t know about the ‘pro fluoride lobby’ but a number of the anti-fluoride groups and pages on Facebook are asking people to downvote and comment on here.

      “Fluoride is not a nutrient of any sort”
      No one is saying it is a nutrient but the anti-fluoride side. Its a beneficial trace element.
      I suggest having a read of this: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11809
      A trace element is a dietary mineral that is needed in very minute quantities for the proper growth, development, and physiology of the organism. Nitric acid does not come under this.

      “The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following dietary intake for fluoride:

      Infants

      0 – 6 months: 0.01 milligrams per day (mg/day)
      7 – 12 months: 0.5 mg/day
      Children

      1 – 3 years: 0.7 mg/day
      4 – 8 years: 1.0 mg/day
      9 – 13 years: 2.0 mg/day
      Adolescents and Adults

      Males ages 14 to 18 years: 3.0 mg/day
      Males over 18 years: 4.0 mg/day
      Females over 14 years: 3.0 mg/day”
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002420.htm

      “All the “systematic reviews” were biased in favour of fluoridation”
      A systematic review is a literature review focused on a research question that tries to identify, appraise, select and synthesize all high quality research evidence relevant to that question. Systematic reviews are done to remove biased conclusions from studies. I suggest you avoid calling mainstream science biased.

      “UK’s York Review, could find no high-quality science supporting fluoridation; so the fluoridators avoid mentioning it.”
      I don’t avoid mentioning it. It’s just that it is a 12 year old study, so I use the more up to date ones. That said it quotes:
      “The review concluded that no associations between cancer and water fluoridation were able to be detected.”
      “The outcomes examined included Down’s Syndrome, mortality, senile dementia, goitre and IQ levels. Overall, the included studies examining other possible negative effects provided insufficient evidence on any particular outcome to permit confident conclusions.”
      “The best available evidence suggests that fluoridation of drinking water supplies reduces caries prevalence, both as measured by the proportion of children who are caries free and by the mean dmft/DMFT score”
      http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v192/n9/full/4801410a.html

      Meaning it found nothing wrong and said fluoridation worked.

      “But sugar? NO, never.”
      Who is saying that?
      There has been very little studies around fluoride and sugar. I personally go with fluoride salt or water.

      “isn’t sugar the cause of tooth decay”
      Sugars and fizzy drinks are the main ones, but just about everything causes some kind of decay.

      • Joe says:

        Daniel wrote:
        No one is saying it is a nutrient but the anti-fluoride side.

        Huh? It’s the WHO and government agencies (mainly of the English-speaking countries) that have been calling fluoride a “nutrient” for years.

        A trace element is a dietary mineral that is needed in very minute quantities for the proper growth, development, and physiology of the organism.

        That’s the definition of an essential trace element. Fluoride is not essential. No amount of statements, reports and books from medical authorities and self-appointed experts calling fluoride “essential” changes the fact that it is not essential. They’re all wrong, but they won’t admit it.

        The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following dietary intake for fluoride…

        And the IoM has no scientific basis for such recommendations.

        Systematic reviews are done to remove biased conclusions from studies.

        That is indeed what we all hope for. The Barry Groves book on fluoride documents bias in the approach of the York Review participants.

        “But sugar? NO, never.” Who is saying that?

        I’m telling you. I’ve been reading the pronouncements and recommendations of the fluoridators for a great many years and they never call for the fluoride to be put in sugar.

        I personally go with fluoride salt or water.

        You’re welcome to it. But why do you want to force it on me and everyone else?

        Sugars and fizzy drinks are the main ones [cause of tooth decay], but just about everything causes some kind of decay.

        Nonsense. Sugar is the culprit. Even the top fluoridators admit this, though they say it very, very rarely.

        • Daniel Ryan says:

          “Huh? It’s the WHO and government agencies”
          I was personally was talking about the comments in this post.

          Fluoride was once considered an essential nutrient, the U.S. National Research Council has since removed this designation due to the lack of studies showing it is essential for human growth, though still considering fluoride a “beneficial element” due to its positive impact on oral health.
          http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/71/5/1228

          “That’s the definition of an essential trace element ”
          That was the wiki definition of a trace element.
          Otherwise you can look at this definition of a trace element:
          “1. (Biology) any of various chemical elements, such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, and iodine, that occur in very small amounts in organisms and are essential for many physiological and biochemical processes”
          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/trace+element

          “They’re all wrong, but they won’t admit it.”
          Evidence?

          Yes it is a trace element.
          “Fluoride is considered a trace element because only small amounts are present in the body (about 2.6 grams in adults), and because the daily requirement for maintaining dental health is only a few milligrams a day. About 95% of the total body fluoride is found in bones and teeth (1).”
          http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/fluoride/

          Fluoride incorporates into the crystalline structure of enamel, forming fluoroapatite, and contributes to resistance to degradation by bacterial acids. So yes by definition it is a trace element. So please top denying this. Fluoride can also strengthen bones.

          “And the IoM has no scientific basis for such recommendations.”
          Why do you say that?
          This was on the IoM site:
          http://www.iom.edu/activities/nutrition/summarydris/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Nutrition/DRIs/New%20Material/6_%20Elements%20Summary.pdf

          Which this is their sources:

          Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride (1997).
          Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline (1998).
          Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids (2000); Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc (2001).
          Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (2002/2005).
          Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D (2011).

          “But why do you want to force it on me and everyone else?”
          I’m not forcing. I’m here to stop the misinformation of the science.

          “Nonsense. Sugar is the culprit.”
          Sugar is the main one but not the only.
          http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-10/cavities-myths

        • corokia says:

          Sugar itself doesn’t cause decay. Decay is caused by acid which is the by-product created when plaque bacteria metabolise carbohydrates and sugars (all types of sugars including honey and fruit and refined cane sugar)
          Teeth are also damaged by acid from internal sources ( eg heart-burn ) and external (acidic drinks including fruit juices and diet soft drinks)
          Fluoride incorporated in the enamel surface when the tooth is forming ( the aim of fluoride in drinking water )creates a surface that is more resistant to acid.

    • D'Esterre says:

      @ Joe:

      “* Fluoride is not a nutrient of any sort, not a micronutrient, not an essential trace element. Just a poison. (Beneficial trace element? You might as well say nitric acid is beneficial: You can rinse your mouth with it and it’ll kill the cariogenic bacteria; so, beneficial!)
      * Nobody needs fluoride, ever!
      * The last place you should put fluoride is in your mouth.
      * The cause of tooth decay is sugar. (What could be simpler?)
      * Fluoridation is completely unscientific.
      * The reduction in children’s tooth decay seen when a population is fluoridated can be attributed to delayed eruption caused by fluoride poisoning.
      * Fluoridation is contrary to medical principles and ethics.
      * Fluoridation is a fascist measure.
      * Fluoridation is a conspiracy (as described very clearly in Christopher Bryson’s book).
      * All the “systematic reviews” were biased in favour of fluoridation. However, the most thorough of them, UK’s York Review, could find no high-quality science supporting fluoridation; so the fluoridators avoid mentioning it.”

      Good grief! The tinfoil hat wearers are sure out in force here, aren’t they?

      You don’t really believe that stuff, do you?

      • Richard Christie says:

        You don’t really believe that stuff, do you?

        Agreed, it was no bizarre I was almost going to invoke Poe’s law on that that comment.

        But, sadly…

  25. Stan Litras says:

    Thank you, John Minto. It takes courage and integrity to speak out against water fluoridation. When the Prime Minister’s Science Advisor: Sir Peter Gluckman makes statements like: “The science is settled.”, we all have cause for concern. It is a deliberate attempt to silence public discussion of this important issue, and it is not even a remotely honest statement. Like you, I have read a great many peer-reviewed papers from accomplished well-regarded scientists and universities such as America’s celebrated Harvard University linking swallowing fluoride at EPA “recommended levels” (1ppm or less) to a range of serious health and developmental problems, some acute and some chronic in nature, e.g., thyroid and kidney problems, bone cancer and other bone diseases (osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, osteosarcoma), and lower IQ in our children. As a NZ Dentist, for the first time in thirty years, I took the time in 2013 to review the science both for and against the fluoridation of NZ tap water. I was amazed to find that the weight of scientific evidence in fact pointed towards stopping fluoridation! My professional association (the NZDA) has long endorsed the practice of water fluoridation which I accepted unquestionably until a valued Colleague urged me to look at the science for myself. (I have since set up a study group: FIND, Fluoride Information Network for Dentists, so that myself and interested peers can discuss the latest scientific findings. Unlike suggestions to the contrary, history teaches us that scientific thought can change as technology advances and with continuing investigation.) Naturally I have taken a special interest in the evidence regarding the lowering of decay rates. Although concentrated fluoride pastes and mouthrinses stack up scientifically at present, fluoridated public water at 1ppm (1mg/ litre) or less is inadequate to affect decay outcomes topically either as it is being drunk or as purported salivary fluoride. Is it safe? No. Does it work? No. It’s not even cheap (not that this matters in view of the former considerations). Most fluoridated water ends up down the drain, in the garden, washing the car etc etc. It costs Councils a fortune to purchase and maintain fluoridation equipment. And, most importantly, it costs us in terms of related health problems. Then there’s the ethical issue: Do Councils have the right to forcibly fluoridate tap water when some members of the rate-paying public don’t want it? We are fortunate that there are concerned global heroes/ advocates like Prof Paul Connett willing to donate their time and expertise to informing the general public, community leaders and health professionals about the perils of fluoridating public water. You have now joined these esteemed ranks, John. Please keep up the great work and don’t be dissuaded by pressure from the MOH/ DHBs/ Otago Dental School in the form of ridicule and name-calling via the national media. Kia kaha! Stay strong and stand tall. You are a most important voice for our people.

    • Ken says:

      Stan, problem is that you are completely wrong with your claim “Sir Peter Gluckman makes statements like: “The science is settled.”

      Gluckman said the science is effectively settled – there is a world of difference.

      Science is never settled – you should go to theologians for the absolute certainty about anything – not scientists.

      However, science does allow us to come to reasonable conclusions based on existing knowledge. Always open for change or improvement but good enough to base social and government policy on.

      That is the case for fluoridation.

      Gluckman was correct – but some people are detemined to misrepresent him.

      • Joe says:

        “The science is settled.” Or “The science is effectively settled.”

        Ken says “there is a world of difference.”

        Um, Ken, you think the adverb makes a world of difference? That’s another grand example of wishful thinking. Yes, science as wishful thinking.

        • Ken says:

          Joe, what verb do you refer to?

          Humanity seems to have got a long way for something you describe as wishful thinking.

          Still, I guess we are used to hecklers from the sidelines.

          • Danyl Strype says:

            Joe is quote right that “effectively” is an adverb. Ken is right that it makes a difference though, but not the difference he claims. Here, “effectively” is a weasel word, which weakens Gluckman’s statement from one of absolute fact (*settled*) to a much vaguer claim (“effectively settled”) which could be interpreted as anything from ‘the weight of evidence is pro-fluoridation’ to ‘I can’t be bothered reading about fluoridation any more’.

            • Richard Christie says:

              Gluckman’s statement from one of absolute fact (*settled*)

              It’s not a weasel word. It’s because absolute certainty is effectively impossible.

              The resultant “doubt” also a potent political weapon. I wonder if you are aware of how it has been manipulated.

              If not, the two Freds (Singer and Seitz) would love you.

              A presentation: Science historian Naomi Oreskes

              The historical research (book) The Merchants of Doubt

            • Ken Perrott says:

              Danyl, I disagree – it does make all the difference and it is important to realise that.

              However, I have included a section in my guest blog article which should appear here in the next few days.

              You can make you case there. But please restrain yourself from the personal attacks. Gluckmans description was important and serious. If you dont understand that then you have a problem – not me.

  26. When you look down at all the posts ,the anti fluoride lobby seems to repeat themselves with the same old arguments

    • Richard Christie says:

      A fair percentage of them first turned up after 8pm Feb 7, when the call to do so went out on the Fluoride Free website.

      As to using the same old (largely emotive) arguments they will invariably continue with them despite being shown overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

      Ultimately the only way the contrarians can get around the scientific community is to invoke the conspiracy. Whether it is chem trails, vaccination, climate change, evolution etc – they all resort to conspiracy thinking.

      Me, I’m happy my viewpoint on water fluoridation sits the company of that of the Royal Society, The Surgeon General, the CDC, the WHO, every professional dental and medical community’s position statement throughout the planet.

      • Joe says:

        Richard says: “Me, I’m happy my viewpoint on water fluoridation sits the company of that of the Royal Society, The Surgeon General, the CDC, the WHO, every professional dental and medical community’s position statement throughout the planet.”

        And they’re all patently wrong about fluoridation! But since they’ve been peddling the same lie for many years now, they’re not likely to change their tune soon. There are big reputations at stake.

        I invoke the conspiracy because it is a conspiracy. You can read all about it. It’s all there in black and white, in US Government documents (CDC etc.), as reproduced in Christopher Bryson’s book.

        • Richard Christie says:

          (Oh, happy, happy, joy, joy)

          How do they do it Joe?

          How do they get all the scientific communities and all the research scientists to sing the same tune? All the health and dental authorities to swallow it. and the tax grabbing governments.

          You have the insider confessions, right? you have the paper trails? Spell t out.

        • “Richard says: “Me, I’m happy my viewpoint on climate change sits the company of that of the Royal Society, NASA, the NOAA, CSIRO, every scientific community position statement throughout the planet.”

          “And they’re all patently wrong about global warming! But since they’ve been peddling the same lie for many years now, they’re not likely to change their tune soon. There are big reputations at stake. I invoke the conspiracy because it is a conspiracy. You can read all about it. It’s all there in black and white, in US Government documents (IPCC etc.), as reproduced in Plimer’s book.”

          Damn, but this is easy.
          I didn’t even have to change the grammar. It’s word perfect.
          One global scientific conspiracy theory really is identical to some other. The rationalizations are always the same. They just get recycled again and again and again and again and again etc, etc.

    • Debs, I liked your post because it is true. I’d be worried about being anti-fluoridation arguments being a constantly changing source. They stick to certain argument points, and because they aren’t refuted or countered, they remain consistent.

      • “Debs, I liked your post because it is true. I’d be worried about being anti-evolution arguments being a constantly changing source. They stick to certain argument points, and because they aren’t refuted or countered, they remain consistent.”

        “Debs, I liked your post because it is true. I’d be worried about being anti-global warming arguments being a constantly changing source. They stick to certain argument points, and because they aren’t refuted or countered, they remain consistent”

        Clearly, you are unfamiliar with PRATTS.

        There are creationist PRATTS.
        There are climate denier PRATTS.
        There are HIV denier PRATTS.

        Science denial just wouldn’t be science denial without a long list of PRATTS.

  27. Danyl Strype says:

    I agree that dentists and other pro-fluoridations are not part a conspiracy to use water fluoridation to cheaply dispose of toxic waste and bring positive PR to fluoride (a highly persistent environmental pollutant produced in the nuclear, fertilizer and aluminium industries among others). I’m willing to believe that *both* the pro and anti fluoridation camps have people’s best interests at heart.

    Perhaps the question we should be asking is, if we followed John’s advice and imposed a moratorium on fluoridation, how could the money currently spent on on it be redirected to improve dental health, especially for low-income people? How about:
    * free cradle-to-the-grave dental care as part of the our public health care system
    * a return to dental nurses in every school
    * measures to improve the nutritional quality of food (eg organic food has been shown to have much higher levels per volume of many nutrients than non-organic)

    While they may cost more than fluoridation programs, all three of these measures would improve overall health, and reduce the money spent by our public health system on treating and managing many chronic illnesses. There is no question that they would respect people’s right to give informed consent before receiving health care. Perhaps these are policies Mana could get behind?

    • A positive alternative and one that merits consideration.

    • Ken says:

      Danyl, be realistic. The cost of fluoridation is very minor – at least for reasonable sized communities. The cost of tooth decay is much greater – financially and in human costs.

      In Hamilton fluoridation cost us $48,000 per year. The esitmated cost of incr4eased tooth decay resulting from the decsion to stop fluoridation is something like $500,000. The latter will come from taxation – it is not currently available in the health budget. The former minor sum (from ratepayers) has already evaporated – it is so small.

      I am all for investing more in health and good nutrition – but let us not pretend that the cost of fluoridation is holding us back.

      • Danyl Strype says:

        Ken, I thought we were concerned about health, not economics. I think Dr Ben Goldacre sums up the problem with you argument nicely:

        “…when Alan Johnson says: “Fluoridation is an effective and relatively easy way to help address health inequalities, giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime,” he’s really just pushing an admirably old fashioned line that complex social problems can be addressed with £50m worth of atoms. The people behind the York review have had to spend a fair amount of time pointing out that people are misrepresenting their work.”
        http://www.badscience.net/2008/02/foreign-substances-in-your-precious-bodily-fluids/

    • D'Esterre says:

      @ Danyl Strype: “* free cradle-to-the-grave dental care as part of the our public health care system
      * a return to dental nurses in every school”

      Because the determinants of oral health status lie in the environments in which people live, dental care programmes of this sort aren’t the answer to oral health problems. Even if their prime focus is on prevention, dentists and dental therapists can’t control people’s living conditions. And there’d be a snowball’s chance in hell of having a dental therapist in every school nowadays.

      * measures to improve the nutritional quality of food (eg organic food has been shown to have much higher levels per volume of many nutrients than non-organic.”

      The last piece of research I read found that organic food confers no greater nutritional benefit than non-organic varieties. But there’s no doubt that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables improves everybody’s health, including their oral health. The trick is being able to afford to eat this way.

      • Lissa says:

        If this isn’t the answer then what have all the non-fluoridated countries done that has caused their dental decay rates to decline at a faster rate than those countries that do fluoridate? Wasnt the fluoride obviously

        • Chris says:

          Evidence, please, Lissa. This “countries which don’t fluoridate have seen tooth decay decline faster” statement seems more like wishful thinking than something which is backed by evidence.

  28. The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury says:

    Kia ora all – just a heads up on this debate, I have asked Ken to do a guest blog for TDB on the Fluoridation debate following his brilliant work over at Science Blog.

    • I’m all for healthy debate. It’s what our country should be predicated on. By all means, a scientific input by either side is valuable and worth listening to. Having had a discussion on openparachute with Ken does display an adequate level of intellectual interest – my only issue on openparachute was Ken’s predisposition to dismiss anyone with an alternative view as being foolish or mislead. For me, it is just as easily possible for the inverse to be true (given issues like lead based paints, asbestos, cigarettes and their previous support by the scientific community until the science indicated that the risks outweighed the benefits)

      • Richard Christie says:

        issues like lead based paints, asbestos, cigarettes and their previous support by the scientific community

        What previous support?

        Don’t confuse the scientific literature and scientific community’s consensus with PR from industry advocates and shills, even if they wear lab coats and stand next to a Bunsen burner.

        What you state is a misconception, the scientific community warned for decades of the dangers of all these things. In fact, it was science that identified their risks.

        • Apparently the ancient Romans used to store red wione in leaden containers.

          Wine. Acidic. In an urn made of lead? Not wise.

          But they didn’t know better.

          Then science discovered why lead containers for food, in paint, in petrol, etc, is not a particularly good idea.

          Science is simply a march of knowledge. What we don’t know now, we might know tomorrow. Or the day after.

          One thing I know for certain is that without science, we wouldn’t be having this debate. (No internet. No telecommunications. Probably, no me, either.)

      • Ken Perrott says:

        Logan, I apologise if any of my comments dismissed you personally as foolish or is misleading. That is not my usual style.

        I will however call as spade a spade (and very rarely a shovel). I am critical of some of the claims being made as being misleading. I will even call so,e ideas foolish or silly.

        But hopefully I don’t give the mistaken impression of labelling individuals this way. That is certainly not my intention.

    • Daniel Ryan says:

      Thank you Martyn. Dr Ken Perrott is a good choice.

  29. Wise crone says:

    I am still on the fence about the fluoride issue. I simply find it hard to believe the MOH, dentists and others would not investigate this issue fully and act in the public’s best interests – however, whenever I read or hear pro-fluoridation arguments from people, I am amazed by the misinformation they spread, and by their disdain and arrogance towards people with a different opinion. That then makes me think that yes perhaps people working in the MOH and similar can be subject to “group think” or something similar – we are all social beings after all. For example, the contributors to this blog have not mentioned, as is my understanding, that even the scientists and organisations that support fluoride acknowledge that fluoride is only effective when applied topically to the tooth, and it is only effective for a certain age group, and that there are definitely some people in the community who are harmed by fluoride. People holding views against delivering fluoride in the public water supply are not all ignorant, they have usually taken very active steps to inform themselves.For example, the Hamilton Council sat for days hearing evidence from both sides of the debate and having the opportunity to ask questions and assess the answers. For me the argument against flourdating our public water supply is getting stronger and stronger. Even if low levels of fluoride are safe and effective in small doses ( which I question) how can you monitor dosage when it is in the water supply? This method of delivery is a careless overkill without regard for overall health. It seems to me to be akin to aerial spraying of insecticide. It is easier for the Govt to do this than to actually properly address dental health in our community in a safe and appropriate way.

    • I am still on the fence about the fluoride issue.

      Why?
      Are you also “on the fence” about the moon landings too?
      Some people are.
      Science is the study of reality.
      You may not a scientist yourself but there are a multitude of scientific communities out there.
      Either you embrace a global scientific conspiracy or you don’t.
      Either we really made it to the moon or we didn’t.
      Hedging your bets is not a viable option.
      Do that and the tobacco industry or the fossil fuel industry (for example) has won.
      They don’t need to do the work that science demands.
      All they need to do is sow doubt amongst a confused public where none should reasonably be.

      I simply find it hard to believe the MOH, dentists and others would not investigate this issue fully and act in the public’s best interests…

      So far, so good.

      – however, whenever I read or hear pro-fluoridation arguments from people,

      Forget them. Focus on the science. That’s the smart play.

      I am amazed by the misinformation they spread, and by their disdain and arrogance towards people with a different opinion.

      How much respect would you have for someone trying to tell you that NASA never made it to the moon?
      Or that people with HIV should not take medications because “it’s all a scam”?
      Liars are not your friends.
      Disinformation can harm you, your family and your community.
      It can kill.
      There’s no such thing as a “harmless” rejection of a scientific consensus.
      It sets a precendent for others.
      The way someone rejects the scientific consensus on the moon landings is the same way they reject the scientific consensus on vaccines which is the same way they reject the scientific consensus on smoking which is the same way they reject the scientific consensus on climate change etc.
      Same methodology-different labels.

      That then makes me think that yes perhaps people working in the MOH and similar can be subject to “group think” or something similar – we are all social beings after all.

      Bad thinking. No scientific community on the planet rejects the scientific consensus on water fluordiation. Not one.
      A scientific consensus does not appear by magic.
      A scientific consensus does not somehow mysteriously disappear.
      There’s a boring, old-fashioned process involved.
      Work.
      Lots of it.
      How do you overturn a scientific consensus?
      That’s right. Even more work.
      Do it right and they give you a Nobel Prize.

      People holding views against delivering fluoride in the public water supply are not all ignorant, they have usually taken very active steps to inform themselves.

      The same can be said for any group. It can be said for the anti-vaxxers and the climate deniers and all the rest of ’em.
      It’s really easy to graduate from the university of google.
      Heck, you can have a dozen Phds and still be suckered into all sorts of crap.
      Happens all the time.
      Science deniers will proudly boast how “informed” they are. It’s a standard schtick.

      For example, the Hamilton Council sat for days hearing evidence from both sides of the debate….

      There is no “debate”.
      Ignore the circus.
      There is no substitute for the science and the work it demands. There’s no way to somehow get around that. There’s the scientific arena where scientists do the research, publish their findings and get critically examined by their peers.
      All the rest is just a side show.
      It’s put up or shut up.

      For me the argument against flourdating our public water supply is getting stronger and stronger.

      Yes, for you.
      Not for any scientific community on the planet.
      Their position is unchanged.
      That should seriously bother you.

      You have to entertain the idea that maybe you are wrong, that maybe you’ve been flim-flammed.
      Think about it.

      “For me the argument against the moonlandings being real is getting stronger and stronger.”

      So they have succeeded in selling you some suspicious anomoly or other on the moon landings.
      Fine.
      But now you have to square that with the still stubbornly intact scientific consensus on the moonlandings.

      Either you are wrong or they are all wrong.
      Only it’s not that simple.
      They can’t be just “wrong”.
      That wouldn’t work.
      “They” have to be lying to you. NASA and all the rest know the truth because, after all, it’s their job to know but they’re not telling you the truth.
      This is the first baby step to embracing a global scientific conspiracy.

      The trouble with a global scientific conspiracy though, is that the mechanics of such an operation is physically impossible.
      Even with all the money and all the contacts and all the power in the world, it’s not possible to start and keep something like that working.
      It breaks down completely once you get to the nuts and bolts of the operation.

      If you can’t create a workable scientific conspiracy on even a purely hypothetical level, then you must reject it. If you reject it then you have to entertain the possibility that you’ve been conned by slick internet patter.

      It’s all about methodology.

      • Wise Crone says:

        RE reply to my comment from Cedric Katesby – Cedric, you didn’t actually reply to the important parts of my comment, you were simply patronizing and smug….. isn’t it true that even the scientific experts that you choose to give credit to acknowledge that “the science” is that fluoride only benefits teeth when applied topically (i.e when it actually comes in contact with the tooth, it does not work by ingesting it in your body) that fluoride only benefits the teeth while you are in a certain age group, not the whole population en masse for all time, and that there definitely are some people in our community who are harmed by fluoride.? Also, how do you monitor the so called “safe dosage” levels when fluoride is in the public water supply and people drink different amounts, have different weights, size and health issues?
        Saying that the argument against fluoride being in the public water supply is similar to an argument that the moon landings never happened or that tobacco is not bad for health is just a red herring – address the real issues.

        • Ken Perrott says:

          Wise Cronie you have been misninformed.

          Fluoride is believed to work both through a surface mechanism with existing teeth and via ingestion, especially during tooth development (ingested F also benefits bones).

          I guess you can understand why anti-fluoride activists like Connett stress the surface effect. They also tend to deny that fluoridated water contributes to this surface effect via transfer of F to saliva. hence the resort to “topical application.”

          Evidence for hypersensitivity seems very weak, usually quoted influencing 1% of the population but without supporting data. There is research showing this is probably psychological – people who believed their water fluoridated when it wasn’t claimed sysmptoms.

          • Richard Christie says:

            You have to agree Ken, that a well designed PRATT is impossible to kill.

            Wise (?) Crone dished up 5 of them.

            All that is required is a web site, a few gullible zealots to get the thing started and then just about any nonsense you put out in the wild will acquire a life of its own and be repeated endlessly for decades.

        • …isn’t it true that even the scientific experts that you choose to give credit to acknowledge that “the science” is that…

          What are you doing?
          Why are you arguing this way?

          Think.
          Take a good hard look at what you wrote. I certainly did.

          Saying that the argument against fluoride being in the public water supply is similar to an argument that the moon landings never happened or that tobacco is not bad for health is just a red herring.

          Then why do you mimic them?
          The way you argue is the same.
          You are anomoly hunting and reguritating PRATT’s.
          (Look it up.)

          It’s childishly easy to take a multitude of comments made here by anti-flouride posters and just neatly switch the labels around to enlist them in the service of some other nutty anti-science position.
          I shouldn’t be able to do that.
          The fact that I can is devastating.

          You have a choice: To accept the scientific consensus or reject it.

          It doesn’t matter what the topic is. That’s irrelevent.
          The same pattern of denial that allows you to reject water fluoridation is the same pattern that allows others to reject the dangers of smoking or the moon landings.

          What are you doing that is so very different from the moon landing deniers out there?
          Spell it out for me because I don’t see it.
          You don’t get to call yourself a special snowflake. You have no special privilege.
          If you don’t want to be put in the same box as the others, then demonstrate how you are different with a better methodology.
          Easy enough to do.

  30. If, as someone pointed out above, a “call has gone out” on facebook to anti-flouro activists to visit this page and use the Thumbs Up/Down system en masse – I would find that more than a little disturbing.

    Instead, I would prefer visitors (of either side) to contribute their views instead of fly-by voting.

    Otherwise Admin might as well disable the voting system as it becomes corrupted and meaningless.

    Just my 10 cents plus 15% gst worth.

    Carry on.

    • Michal says:

      Frank are you serious – get a life. Any topic that is controversial does of course have people on it not necessarily commnenting but giving the thumbs up or the thumbs down, Minto wrote a column on Palestine a while back now I wonder who got on to that….

    • Richard Christie says:

      Damn thing always refuses to accept my votes anyway. Suspect it’s to do with Firefox or, more likely, ISP security settings. It all worked when I was on Telstraclear, but TDB stopped accepting votes and star rating when I switched to Slingshot. Would be interested if this has happened to others as well.

    • Rory says:

      Hi Frank,

      Personally I think the thumbs up/down should be removed as it doesn’t add anything to a debate other than a binary show of agreement/disagreement (generally) to someones statement/argument.

      Just two quick questions to you as you are usually the most level-headed respondent on TDB. A question that I don’t think has been asked here (I could be wrong as there has been a high volume of respondents!).

      Do you think that individuals should be able to choose what sort of additives are added to their drinking water?
      And…
      The poor have often been used as an example of why we should use fluoridation (as they don’t have easy access to dental care etc). Do you think that individuals in low socio-economic areas should have a right to choose what sort of additives are added to their drinking water?

      Thanks.

      • Kia ora Rory,

        Thanks for the compliment of “level headed”… (Now I’m going to have to behave myself, dammit.)

        I posted above (somewhere – ghod knows where) that I used to be ANTI fluoridation (I used to buy non-flouridated ‘Red Seal’ toothpaste). During an online debate, I posted information that was incorrect , which I had gleaned from an anti-fluoridation website.

        My mistake. So I did additional research and what I found changed my views 180 degrees. However, I’m not “wedded” to these things and if credible information is ever presented, such as peer-reviewed research, then I’ll review my position. Again.

        Regarding your question(s);

        Do you think that individuals should be able to choose what sort of additives are added to their drinking water?

        As I see it, we have 4.4 million (approx) people in this country. So how practical is it to determine what each person wants in their drinking water? Even if 90% don’t care – the other 10% – 440,000 – will each have their own views on what they want/don’t want.

        Does that include chlorine as well as flouride?

        But even the argument of what the majority want doesn’t always sit well with me. After the debacle of Proposition 8 in California, in 2008, where the majority (of those who bothered to vote) dictated that a minority could not have the same rights (marriage) as the rest of society – that made me extremely uncomfortable.

        When a majority can vote away the rights of a minority based on prejudice (?), religion (?), or just because of “tradition” – that worries the hell out of me. Hence why I shy away from BINDING referenda.

        So what’s left?

        Despite some folk having an aversion to science, I believe that is what we should be looking at. In the end, science is the search for knowledge. It’s what allows us to contribute to this debate, via the ‘magic’ of the internet.

        If the anti-flouro lobby-group can commission research; peer reviewed; that shows that flouridation is unsafe – then that should be the deciding factor. I’d go along with that.

        Do you think that individuals in low socio-economic areas should have a right to choose what sort of additives are added to their drinking water?

        That’s an easier matter to deal with. Lower socio-economic families don’t have the same choices that other, more affluent families have. After spending all their meagre income on accomodation, food, power, phone, transport, increased prescription charges, school fees, etc – there are usually unpaid bills still left over till the next week.

        And when lower socio-economic – actually let’s call a spade a spade – when POOR families are faced with daily decisions whether to pay the power bill or spend $50 on groceries – I think asking them about flouridation would not, generally, be met with sympathy.

        In the final analysis, it strikes me that this debate is a contest between the intellectual (anti-flouro) and the gut-feeling (anti-mass medication).

        Bottom, line (for me, personally) – I’m not opposed to flouridation, until evidence is found that it is (a) ineffectual or (b) harmful.

        • “In the final analysis, it strikes me that this debate is a contest between the intellectual (anti-flouro) and the gut-feeling (anti-mass medication). ”

          Should read,

          “In the final analysis, it strikes me that this debate is a contest between the intellectual (PRO-flouro) and the gut-feeling (anti-mass medication). “

    • Danyl Strype says:

      Frank, it appears a call has gone out through pro-fluoride activist networks too, as they also seem to be appearing in droves to patronize people and wallow in fallacies including (but not limited to) appeal to authority, ad hominem, black/white, guilt by association, argument by analogy, and most notably begging the question. They start with the assumption that their position is correct, and is therefore Science, and accuse anyone with dissenting views of being “Science Deniers” (burn the witch!). Some, notably Cedric, even accuses anyone who disagrees with his dogmatic views of being part of a conspiracy of Science Denial which includes everyone who has dissenting views on the moon landings, vaccinations, global warming, AIDS etc etc.

      What really cracks me up is that these same people consider themselves to be Skeptics, and defenders of rationality. It would be nice to see them live up to this aspiration, by sticking to arguments and evidence, and dispensing with the sneering tone. It would probably also be more convincing.

      • “Frank, it appears a call has gone out through pro-Warmist networks too, as they also seem to be appearing in droves to patronize people and wallow in fallacies including (but not limited to) appeal to authority, ad hominem, black/white, guilt by association, argument by analogy, and most notably begging the question. They start with the assumption that their position on Climate Change is correct, and is therefore Science, and accuse anyone with dissenting views of being “Science Deniers” (burn the witch!). Some, notably Cedric, even accuses anyone who disagrees with his dogmatic views of being part of a conspiracy of Science Denial which includes everyone who has dissenting views on the moon landings, vaccinations, water fluoridation, AIDS etc etc. What really cracks me up is that these same people consider themselves to be Skeptics, and defenders of rationality. It would be nice to see them live up to this aspiration, by sticking to arguments and evidence, and dispensing with the sneering tone. It would probably also be more convincing.”

        Oh happy, happy me.
        🙂
        Science denial: Only the labels are different.

        • ANDYS says:

          How is that “scientific consensus” on climate change, by the way?
          I see that there is yet another explanation (the trade winds) for “the pause”

          So that’s:
          Heat in the ocean, aerosols, trade winds, stadium waves, natural variability (of an unspecified nature)

          Really, it is very settled science

          Not

          • Richard Christie says:

            Not here Andy.

            (Andy is to climate science what Dan Germouse and Hayden are to fluoridation. Andy does however, possess a sense of humour).

          • Andy, it’s still you versus NASA and every single scientific community on the planet.
            No amount of anomoly hunting is going to change that.

            If you want to change the scientific consensus on climate change then you have to do it the old-fashioned way.
            There is no substitute.

      • Richard Christie says:

        Got that off your chest?

        Well, let’s not close the lid yet, let’s examine what’s been deposited in the bowl.

        it appears a call has gone out through pro-fluoride activist networks too, as they also seem to be appearing in droves

        Maybe a call went out maybe not, but certainly the reason you offer doesn’t support your claim. You have been quite big on demanding evidence from others, so perhaps you’d like to provide some here.

        I also notice that Fluoride Free NZ have since removed evidence of their call to comment and vote. Sanitation of dirty linen is one reasonable interpretation of this development.

        You might also care to explain who the “pro-fluoride activist networks” are, and reasons why they are, in your mind, “activist” organisations and “networks”. Otherwise we’re all in the dark.

        to patronize people and wallow in fallacies including (but not limited to) appeal to authority, ad hominem, black/white, guilt by association, argument by analogy, and most notably begging the question.

        Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anybody can throw such terms about. How about attaching them to actual comments so that the commenter then has the right of reply. You’ve already tried once or twice and had your assertions refuted https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/06/the-science-is-not-settled-on-the-benefits-of-fluoridation-of-water-supplies/#comment-187057

        They start with the assumption that their position is correct, and is therefore Science,

        As Cedric Katesby has eloquently pointed out, over and over and over again, it’s not “their” position. It is the position held by every mainstream scientific, dental and medical community on the planet. It’s not “science” – it is the scientific consensus produced by the scientific method. The most powerful reality checking methodology yet devised by mankind.. It is safe and eminently sensible therefore, to conclude the outcome is “correct”, the best we have – until the consensus changes.

        You may conclude differently, place your faith in a website run out of somebody’s basement, books rather than scientific literature, emotive claims etc, that is your right.

        and accuse anyone with dissenting views of being “Science Deniers” (burn the witch!).

        Concentrate.

        They are. They deny the scientific consensus.

        Some, notably Cedric, even accuses anyone who disagrees with his dogmatic views of being part of a conspiracy of Science Denial which includes everyone who has dissenting views on the moon landings, vaccinations, global warming, AIDS etc etc.

        The scientific consensus.

        They’re not Cedric’s views.

        Deny the science and it’s science denial
        .
        Keep concentrating…

        Cedric highlights that a scientific consensus exists on each of the issues and that the methodology that allows somebody to reject it in one case is the same methodology as the that which allows one to reject it in all the others. It’s revealing.

        What really cracks me up is that these same people consider themselves to be Skeptics, and defenders of rationality. It would be nice to see them live up to this aspiration, by sticking to arguments and evidence,

        Sticking to arguments and evidence is what science does.

        Keep thinking…

        The hard work has been going on for decades on this issue. Going on in the scientific arena and in its literature. Along comes Danyl and wants to determine the state of the play himself. What’s the sensible thing to do? Rely on the innernets, vanity press books and a lone poster-boy dissident scientist? Or check out the results of decades hard work as represented by the scientific community?

        and dispensing with the sneering tone.

        Well sometimes stupid has be be called out. No easy way around it.

  31. Bevan Morgan says:

    There are a lot of experts here which is kind of surprising…

    I don’t know enough to make a valid opinion, but I do like this column by Dr Ben Goldacre (of Bad Science fame).

    ‘The reality is that anybody making any confident statement about fluoride – positive or negative – is speaking way beyond the evidence’.

    That is without doubt the most convincing line of reasoning I have heard from either side in this ‘debate’.

    http://www.badscience.net/2008/02/foreign-substances-in-your-precious-bodily-fluids/

  32. Cassie says:

    @Cedric Katesby- You could easily have condensed all that into just 13 words – “I always let authorities tell me what to think and you should too”.

    • Ken Perrott says:

      Unfortunately, Cassie, this is the way many people in this debate think. They are presenting Paul Connett as a world authority and slavishly repeat everything he claims.

      He is not an authority and is in fact an unqualified outsider on this issue. But he has an activist organisation and and canny media manipulation to promote his opinions. Opinions which conflict with expert opinion.

      On areas outside one’s competence it is perfectly normal for people to give credence to qualified experts – even if it is good advice to question them when one can. I certainly do.

      But let’s not give such credence to false prophets like Connett.

      I urge people to approach this issue sensibly – question what Connett is feeding you and don’t allow him to turn you away from genuine scientific and expert information.

    • You could easily have condensed all that into just 13 words – “I always let authorities tell me what to think and you should too”

      Don’t be stupid.
      Please.
      A scientific consensus does not appear by magic.
      It happens by work.
      Hard work and lots of it.
      Going with the work and the evidence it produces is the best bet.

      The moon landing happened. You can go to the NASA website and find out for yourself. It’s what smart people do.
      There is no global scientific conspiracy.

      Going with the scientific consensus is not some terrible kow-towing to authority.
      It’s an acceptance of reality.

      The Earth really does go around the Sun.
      Germs cause disease.
      Smoking is dangerous.

      You can turn you back on the scientific consensus and all the work it represents but you have to have a really, really REALLY good reason to do so.

      Paranoia about mystery “authorities” is not a good reason.
      Conspiracy theories are dumb.

      • ANDYS says:

        Yes we know the moon landings happened.
        There is no “scientific consensus” the the moon landings happened.

        People are not doing scientific research into whether moon landings happened.

        The are no journals of “moon landing reality”

        There are no university departments called “The Department of Moon Landing Reality”

        It’s a fact. You can look through a telescope and see the gear

        It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether we should mass fluoridate water

        • There is no “scientific consensus” the the moon landings happened.

          Andy, NASA really did go to the moon.
          Can you name a single scientific community that rejects the scientific consensus on the the reality on the moon landings?

          (…crickets chirping…)

          There’s no debate.
          There’s no doubt.
          The people that dispute the moon landings are in denial.

          Yet moon landing deniers exist.
          They don’t quietly go away and admit their mistake.
          Despite all the evidence, they are still out there on the internet. What they do to shore up their denial is what you do to shore up your denial on global warming which is , not coincidentally, the same process that the anti-flourdiationists use.
          Science denial uses the same playbook. It doesn’t have any other choice.

        • It’s a fact. You can look through a telescope and see the gear

          Oh Andy.

          You never….

          (Ah what the heck.)

          Go ahead and grab a telescope.
          Let me know how it turns out for you.

          • ANDYS says:

            You appear to misunderstand me dear Cedric
            When I say there is “no scientific consensus” that the moon landings happened, I mean it in the same way that there is no scientific consensus that Elvis is dead, or that the moon is not made of cheese.

            Science doesn’t bother with stuff like that

            • Science bothers with the moon, Andy.
              Really.
              NASA really did go to the moon.
              Embrace reality.

              It’s a fact. You can look through a telescope and see the gear.

              Then do it. Take a photo. Post it up on Ken’s blog….if you think you can.

  33. Cassie says:

    “the science consensus”… bla bla bla -WHAT science consensus and in which country?
    I realise you don’t like to think for yourself, but don’t tell me you’ve never noticed that as new knowledge & understanding emerges the “consensus” changes, and it takes a very long time to be fully assimilated. ( In Europe they are much more advanced)

    Here in NZ we are only at the early stage. There are always a MINORITY of people who are ahead of the rest.

    btw
    Have you ever seen the old adverts with doctors promoting cigarettes for relaxation?

    • Richard Christie says:

      “the science consensus”… bla bla bla -WHAT science consensus and in which country?

      It’s a global scientific consensus. That’s what makes it a scientific consensus.

      Hint: Scientific knowledge doesn’t respect national boundaries (except perhaps temporarily – in the case of research commissioned by the military). So don’t expect to travel to another country on holiday and get an immunity to AIDS because some particular political leader decides HIV has nothing to do with it.

      I realise you don’t like to think for yourself,

      hmm, moving on…

      but don’t tell me you’ve never noticed that as new knowledge & understanding emerges the “consensus” changes, and it takes a very long time to be fully assimilated. ( In Europe they are much more advanced) –

      What gives you that idea? It all depends on the strength of the evidence. Sometimes it is very fast indeed, sometimes when the evidence is initially weak it understandably takes a lot longer.

      Here in NZ we are only at the early stage.

      Of what?

      There are always a MINORITY of people who are ahead of the rest.

      Cassie, I’m sure you are in the front seat of scientific endeavour. It must be very exciting, The trouble is, the MINORITY group you are travelling with have been claiming for seventy years to be ahead of the game on this one.

    • Richard Christie says:

      Oh, and Cassie

      Have you ever seen the old adverts with doctors promoting cigarettes for relaxation?

      See: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/06/the-science-is-not-settled-on-the-benefits-of-fluoridation-of-water-supplies/#comment-187096

    • WHAT science consensus and in which country?

      Science does not carry a passport.
      There is no German science or NZ science. There’s just science. It’s a global thing.
      A scientific consensus would hardly be a scientific consensus if it wasn’t global, right?
      Surely, even you can accept that simple logic?

      ….but don’t tell me you’ve never noticed that as new knowledge & understanding emerges the “consensus” changes…

      Reading comprehension problem.
      I carefully covered this.
      A scientific consensus does not appear by magic.
      It happens by work. Hard work. Lots of it.

      There’s no other way to create a scientific consensus or change one.
      There’s no cute little shortcut.
      No quick cheat.
      It’s put up or shut up.

      Now you can turn your back on a scientific consensus.
      You can turn you back on all that work and all that research.
      You can.
      Only you have to have a really, really, REALLY good reason to do so.
      The kind of reason where they are shoving a Nobel Prize in your hands.
      Graduating from the university of google is simply not the same thing.

      It’s all about your methodology.

      Have you ever seen the old adverts with doctors promoting cigarettes for relaxation?

      The tobacco companies just gave themselves a high five.
      They love people like you.
      They spent a lot of money to hoodwink you and crossed their collective fingers that you would never do any factchecking for yourself and, bingo, they won.

      The way you reject the scientific consensus on one issue is the same as some other topic. Only the labels change.

      A: The CDC supports water fluordiation.
      B: Think for yourself. Are you going to let the gubbiment tell you what to do? What do those science types know? They’re always changing.

      A: The Surgeon General warns about the dangers of smoking
      B: Think for yourself. Are you going to let the gubbiment tell you what to do? What do those science types know? They’re always changing.

      See what I did there. That’s right. I changed nothing. Just switched the labels around. The rationalizations are exactly the same.
      You are using the playbook of Big Tobacco.
      Congratulations.

  34. Priss says:

    I’m a fence sitter in some ways, but if the anti-fluoridation group is connected to the anti-vaccines group, then that pushes me into the pro-fluoridation group. If that makes sense.

    • Ken Perrott says:

      They also have connections with the chemtrails people!!

    • I’m a fence sitter in some ways, but if the anti-fluoridation group is connected to the anti-vaccines group, then that pushes me into the pro-fluoridation group. If that makes sense.

      Ask them directly.
      Every time an anti-flouridationist pops their head up, ask them about their views on vaccines. Or casually peek at a few of their blogs. Very quickly a pattern emerges.
      Ken’s comment on chemtrails is pertinent too.

      However, it’s not so much about what else that they may be wrong about, it’s about how they got there.
      It’s not about their conclusions.
      At the risk of repeating myself again and again, it’s about methodology.

      Science denial covers a wide range of topics.
      You can deny the moon landings or the dangers of smoking or HIV infections or climate change or vaccines or whatever.
      It doesn’t matter about the topic.
      The process involved is always the same.
      The same flawed methodology and rationalizations.
      It follows certain predictable patterns.

      That’s no accident.
      A science denier rejects the scientific consensus. That’s a common problem to the vaccine denier and the flouride denier alike. So the solution they reach for is the same too.
      To justify such rejection and to prop up their preconceptions they have do the same things and say the same things.
      Hence the blogs and the speaking tours and the PRATT’s and the cherry picking and the conspiracy thinking etc.

      Take a vaccine denier website at random as an example.
      Look at how they argue. Look at how they disseminate information and the terminology they use. Read the comments.
      Now compare it to the anti-fluordiationists.
      They’re identical.

      Here’s a video on vaccination. It’s got nothing to do with anti-flurodiation.
      And yet, it has everything to do with fluordiation.
      Just switch the labels around for yourself.
      I’m sure they will be strangely familiar to you.

      • ANDYS says:

        “Science deniers” include climate scientists Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, and Richard Muller, according to Michael Mann

        In fact, the definition of “science denier” is anyone who disagrees with Michael Mann

    • ANDYS says:

      I am in a similar boat. Ken supports the fake Nobel laureate Michael Mann, so I tend to think that anything that Ken agrees with is probably wrong.

  35. […] Blog is reaching thermonuclear-critical proportions, as John Minto pens a piece, adamant that  The science is not “settled” on the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies. Over 300 messages […]

  36. […] Minto’s blog article “The science is not “settled” on the benefits of fluoridation of water supplies“ is timely. For better or worse, fluoridation is in the news again and we better discuss it. […]

  37. Rob Ueberfeldt says:

    As an ex fluoride skeptic I was very interested to read about some of the WHO efforts to reduce fluoride in areas where it was excessive. I think that more than anything convinced me that adding fluoride to .5 to 1.0 mg/l is safe if the same organisation makes efforts to reduce it in areas where it is over that.
    http://www.appropedia.org/Water_defluoridation
    It kind of blows conspiracy theories of deliberate poisoning out the window.
    Also if ‘added fluoride’ is contaminated with heavy metals it would be simple to test for yet I can’t find any evidence of it.

  38. Verity says:

    Thanks John for posting an excellent article and for having the courage to do so. It takes people like you to effect positive change.

    For myself and many others who do not want to drink water that has had hydrofluorosilicic acid added to it, it’s not really as simple as turning off the tap. I spend $20 per week on filtered water for drinking and cooking despite not being in a financial position to do so. Even with these changes my children and I are still exposed to fluoridated water when we shower, eat out, through school and kindy, and through many food items that have been processed in or use fluoridated water (hard to know because food labels don’t really specify whether it’s fluoridated water that has been used). It is difficult to measure exactly how much fluoride we are being exposed to because there is simply no dose control. Low income families are actually hardest hit, because they cannot cheaply out of using fluoridated water. We should not be in a position where we are fighting to opt out of having a chemical put into an essential resource/commodity. We don’t have the choice when it comes to tap water as we do when we are shopping for items such as bread or salt at the supermarket.

    Chlorine serves a purpose and I understand why it’s added to the public water supply. Fluoride serves no purpose. Even if fluoridation worked to reduce tooth decay, it’s hardly a cost effective measure when 90% of tap water ends up going down the drain. Investment in preventive healthcare and education around diet and good dental hygiene is the way forward.

    It is accepted that over exposure to fluoride can cause dental fluorosis. What is going on inside the body if this is what fluoride can do to the teeth? Any evidence that shows a chemical may cause adverse health effects should be investigated further. The precautionary principal should apply in the case of water fluoridation. The science is not settled. When in doubt, leave it out.